East Chicago Lead Contamination Crisis

Did May Flooding Recontaminate Homes In East Chicago?

Aug 6, 2020
Lauren Chapman / IPB News

Residents in the USS Lead Superfund site in East Chicago are worried that flooding in May could have recontaminated their homes with arsenic and lead. At the same time, the Environmental Protection Agency is ready to call the soil at several properties clean. 

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.

EAST CHICAGO, Ind. (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is preparing to excavate soil tainted with lead and arsenic from around more than 160 homes in East Chicago, in a push the agency says could complete exterior residential cleanups this year in the northwest Indiana city.

The EPA intends to remove polluted soil from about 167 properties in East Chicago's Calumet neighborhood, which is part of the U.S.S. Lead Superfund site.

EAST CHICAGO, Ind. (AP) — The federal government shutdown has forced the cancellation of a public hearing on a cleanup proposal for the site of a former housing complex in northwestern Indiana.

The Times reports Tuesday that the Environmental Protection Agency says the Jan. 10 hearing on the West Calumet Housing Complex site won't be held.

Public comments on the EPA's cleanup plans were being accepted until Jan. 14. Those plans include a 2-foot-deep removal of lead- and arsenic-contaminated soil. The agency estimates the cleanup will cost about $26 million.

EPA To Monitor East Chicago Groundwater At USS Lead

Nov 28, 2018

EPA plans soil removal at lead-tainted Indiana complex

Nov 12, 2018

EAST CHICAGO, Ind. (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is moving ahead with plans for a 2-foot-deep removal of lead- and arsenic-contaminated soil at the site of a northwestern Indiana public housing that's been evacuated and demolished over health concerns.

EPA cites factory for toxic lead in Indiana

Nov 9, 2018

WHITING, Ind. (AP) — Federal and state environmental officials say a northwestern Indiana factory has repeatedly violated federal health standards by releasing alarmingly high concentrations of airborne lead in two cities.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management accused Whiting Metals of the violations Thursday, based on three months of air quality testing in Hammond and Whiting.

EPA turns to judge for lead-testing at 9 NW Indiana homes

Oct 29, 2018

EAST CHICAGO, Ind. (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking access to nine properties within a Superfund site in northwestern Indiana that have never been tested for lead or arsenic contamination.

The EPA says in court filings that the East Chicago properties may be tainted with lead or arsenic at levels that may pose a threat to human health and the environment. The agency says it hasn't been able to get permission from property owners to test the soil.

Crews begin tearing down a portion of the West Calumet Housing Complex on April 2. They drench the debris to prevent the spread of lead and arsenic contamination to the surrounding neighborhood. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Lauren Chapman
(FILE PHOTO: Annie Ropeik/IPB News)
(FILE PHOTO: Annie Ropeik/IPB News)

Federal Judge Philip Simon has denied East Chicago residents’ request to intervene in court proceedings concerning lead contamination in the Calumet neighborhood, formerly home to a public housing complex and an elementary school.

Simon’s ruling agrees with a prior magistrate judge’s opinion saying the request was made too late in the process.

House Approves Controversial School Management Bill

Feb 1, 2018

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