Residents near East Palestine frustrated, say their water has not been tested yet

It has been a week since officials conducted a “controlled chemical release” following a train derailment in East Palestine.
Published: Feb. 13, 2023 at 5:15 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 16, 2023 at 12:00 PM EST
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EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WOIO) - It has been a week since officials conducted a controlled chemical release following a train derailment in East Palestine.

Officials with the village of East Palestine continue to say the water quality is being closely monitored.

The village’s water and wastewater superintendent, Scott Wolfe, said the EPA is mainly concerned about the wells outside the village.

“Per the EPA’s request the following Monday morning, we sampled for volatile organic compounds. That’s a list of all compounds,” Wolfe said. “All those results came back negative or below detection limits.”

Wolfe said the well water within village limits is safe for residents.

“I know there’s a lot of concern about it but, from my standpoint, we are hitting all our EPA limits and guidelines and that’s what I base my job off of,” Wolfe said. “It’s my job to provide clean water or it’s going to be me that’s going to be in trouble.”

A business located in Salem, Butech Bliss, has shared video of the train on fire as it was headed to East Palestine.

We wanted to share a video of the Norfolk Southern train going past Butech Bliss while on fire last Friday at 8:12 pm.

Posted by Butech Bliss on Friday, February 10, 2023

Residents in neighboring towns, like Marty Hostetter, are concerned their well water is not safe.

Hostetter lives two miles outside East Palestine. He said the creek that runs through his yard is contaminated.

“Worst part that makes me mad is not one person has been around to tell us this is contaminated,” Hostetter said.

About 30 yards from the creek is his private well where he gets his water from. His family is only drinking bottled water right now.

“I mean they all knew this was contaminated,” Hostetter said. “You can look and see the dead fish, but not one person has showed up.”

Hostetter hopes someone comes to his community and tests the water soon. He is worried about the long term effects for his family and the ecosystem.

“I was hoping somebody come around and test the water, but it’s not going to do it any good unless they test it again months and months from now and keep it up,” Hostetter said.