Feds To Hold Hearing On Lead-Contaminated Housing Demolition

Jun 23, 2017

Federal housing officials will hold a public hearing Monday night on plans to tear down a lead-contaminated public housing complex in East Chicago. The demolition plan got federal environmental approval last month, but residents want a chance to raise concerns.

Residents from the West Calumet Housing Complex area wrote to the Department of Housing and Urban Development this month. They asked for a public hearing and more time to comment on the demolition plan.

That was after HUD issued its environmental assessment, which says the demolition will have an impact, but is necessary to protect human health.

The federal agency said it would be able to offset the disturbance of toxic soil during demolition.

After that, the Environmental Protection Agency plans to clean the area to a residential standard – though the city of East Chicago hasn’t decided on a future use for the land. HUD officials have said they don’t expect it’ll be public housing.

But residents and their lawyers worry demolition alone could unearth more toxic soil, spread contaminated dust, pollute groundwater, or harm workers on-site.

HUD officials granted them the hearing to raise those concerns, and extended public comment on the environmental assessment through early July.

Residents wanting to submit written comments can find how to in the document below.