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East Chicago Lead Contamination Crisis

Indiana mayor seeks more protective cleanup of tainted site

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Lauren Chapman
/
IPB News

EAST CHICAGO, Ind. (AP) — East Chicago's mayor is urging state officials to advocate for a more protective cleanup of a lead- and arsenic-contaminated former housing complex in the northwestern Indiana city.

Mayor Anthony Copeland sent letters last month to Gov. Eric Holcomb and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management asking them to weigh in on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to remove tainted soil from the site.

The Post-Tribune reports that Copeland, residents and community groups want the EPA to remove contaminated soil down to native sand, instead of just removing up to two feet of material.

More than 1,000 people were forced from the West Calumet Housing Complex in 2016 after tests found high blood-lead levels in some children and some yards with lead levels over 70 times the U.S. safety standard.

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