The Unified Command in Paulsboro  say a hazardous material has been removed from a tanker car that was ripped open when it derailed last week

Response crews pump an acetone and vinyl chloride mixture into rail cars in Paulsboro (US Coast Guard)

The Coast Guard says the pumping of Acetone into the breached rail car to absorb and dissolve vinyl chloride was finished at 7:40 a.m. on Thursday to eliminate any remaining liquid from the breached rail car.The car also has been rinsed.

At a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Capt. Kathy Moore, the Coast Guard incident commander, reported the air is becoming "increasingly safe" with no vinyl chloride detected.

Reporters took Moore to task for not announcing the process had been completed at 7:40AM and asked if she had informed Congressmen Rob Andrews, Frank LoBiondo and Pennsylvania's Pat Meehan. During their press events they spoke as if the process were still going on.

Moore cited procedure and outlined the steps & processes but did not answer the question directly. As reporters continued the line of questioning the press conference was ended.

A 150 ton barge is now being moved into position on the Mantua Creek for the next phase of the operation: the removal of the rail cars.  Teams are using sonar technology to pinpoint the location of any underwater debris and document the site underwater.

“We are making progress with the safe and efficient cleanup operations at the Paulsboro derailment. That safe progress brings us closer to returning evacuees to their homes,” said Moore in an earlier statement. “Our priority remains the safety of everyone involved – members of the community, federal, state and local officials, and the work crews and technical experts onsite at the derailment.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story