EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WJW) – It was standing room only at a town hall style event in downtown East Palestine Thursday night.

Inside the Studio 25 yoga studio, a sign hung on the wall that read, “Make Norfolk Southern Pay,” and that’s exactly what upset residents want.

Many people say they are frustrated with the ongoing disparities between what they’re experiencing and what they’re hearing from officials after the train derailment on Feb. 3. 

“I only live like 10 houses away and so yeah, I definitely have concerns,” said Saadia Gorischsky.

The event was hosted by nonprofit organization River Valley Organizing that brought in unpaid chemical and hazardous materials experts to answer questions.

“There’s so much misinformation, folks don’t know what to believe, so are they safe in their homes? Is the water safe? What are their property values? If they get sick, who’s going to take care of that?” said co-executive director Amanda Kiger.

One panel expert was Stephen Lester, science director of the Center for Health, Environment and Justice. Lester has decades of experience and was involved with work at the Love Canal disaster in New York in the 1970s.

After reviewing preliminary tests and information at East Palestine, he said, “The one chemical it amazes me they’re not looking for is a group referred to as dioxins. When you burn a chlorinated chemical like vinyl chloride, you generate dioxins.”

He went on to say that some dioxins are the most toxic chemicals tested in the United States and “a nasty chemical.”

All of the panel experts encouraged residents to get independent and continual testing on their water and dust inside of their homes and on their properties.

One woman, Jami Cozzi, said initially she was told her house was safe, but then upon pressuring the railroad to conduct testing, she learned otherwise.

“I got the railroad to do tests and they deemed my house unsafe to be in,” said Cozzi. “If they were wrong about my house, they could be wrong about your house.”

The group says additional events are already being planned.