BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — According to a message from the Erie County Water Authority, it is ‘highly improbable’ that residual chemicals or toxins are in water in Erie County stemming from the train derailment in Ohio earlier this month.

They said that it is unlikely that the chemicals have come into Erie County’s water sources, which include Lake Erie and the Niagara River. They said that East Palestine’s watershed flows southwest towards the Mississippi River, not towards Western New York.

The full statement can be found below.

Dear Customer:

Due to the increasing rumors, speculation and falsehoods related to the February 3rd Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, the Erie County Water Authority (ECWA) wants its customers to know it is highly improbable that residual chemicals or toxins from the derailed train have navigated to ECWA water sources, including Lake Erie and the Niagara River.

East Palestine’s watershed flows southwest toward the Mississippi River and is geographically isolated from Lake Erie’s watershed, making it impossible for chemical residuals from the derailment to enter our area’s water sources.

In the age of social media, misleading claims and falsehoods can spread instantly causing unnecessary public concern. That is occurring in relation to this unfortunate accident, but ECWA customers can rest assured that their drinking water is very safe and of high quality.

Erie County Water Authority

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Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.