NEGLEY, Ohio (WKBN) — As help floods in for East Palestine, surrounding communities are asking for help, too.
People who live in Negley, south of the derailment site, say they feel forgotten and are worried about the environmental impacts on their community.
Leslie Run creek flows from East Palestine through Negley. Residents in the area are worried about their well water being contaminated by chemicals from the train derailment on Feb. 3.
“All the surrounding communities need help, not just East Palestine,” says Dana Linger.
John and Dana linger live in Negley. They say their family’s drinking water comes from a well — and that’s the case for most of the community.
John Linger says he worries that the wells are shallow enough to absorb the contamination the EPA has been working to treat since the derailment.
“The lower parts of Negley are barely above creek-level, it seems,” John Linger says.
The Lingers live on a hill with a deep well, but that’s not the case for their son, who lives in the low-lying valley that makes up most of Negley. They plan on getting their wells tested but worry about their community getting federal and state-level help.
“Our son is our biggest concern right now because of where he is, so he is drinking the bottled water,” says Dana Linger. “We just picked some up from Negley fire department.”
The Lingers say they do not believe the environmental impacts are merely a zip-code issue — they no longer feel safe outdoors.
“We’re avid hikers, we kayak,” Dana Linger says. “We’re not going to be able to do any of that for Lord knows how long. It’s heartbreaking.”