Environmental Protection Agency

Back in November, state and federal agencies cited a Hammond company for emitting twice the legal amount of lead. Now they say it’s put high levels of the toxic chemical cadmium into the air. But the company says it isn’t responsible for those excess emissions — and it doesn’t use cadmium.

In the past decade, as many as 24 children in the small city of Franklin were diagnosed with rare cancers. Their parents want the federal government to declare a cancer cluster and investigate. But defining a cancer cluster — so it can be investigated — is complicated. 

E15 Rule Change Delayed Due To Government Shutdown

Jan 10, 2019

Farmers are worried the partial federal government shutdown might further delay a proposal to allow gasoline with 15 percent ethanol to be sold year-round. The Trump administration’s goal was to have it in effect this summer. 

The Environmental Protection Agency is reconsidering the reasoning behind its rule that limits air pollutants from coal and oil-fired power plants. An expert says that could lead to the standards’ undoing and more coal pollution in Indiana. 

UPDATE: East Chicago residents have gotten their wish for another public meeting to discuss cleanup plans at Zone 1 of the USS Lead Superfund site.

A proposed change to the controversial Waters of the United States rule could reduce the number of waters in Indiana regulated by the federal government. The Environmental Protection Agency announced the possible change Tuesday

Donnelly Calls For EPA To Take Over In Franklin

Dec 10, 2018
U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) stands with If It Was Your Child moms. (Jill Sheridan/IPB News)
Jill Sheridan

Outgoing U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) wants the Environmental Protection Agency to take on the investigation and cleanup of contaminated sites in Franklin. Donnelly says Gov. Eric Holcomb should get involved and ask the EPA to step in.

EPA Calls For Soil Cleanup Around Franklin Sewers

Nov 29, 2018

The Environmental Protection Agency plans to clean up contaminated soil underneath some sewers in Franklin just south of the old Amphenol industrial site. Some residents suspect contamination from the site is causing rare child cancers in the area. 

EPA To Monitor East Chicago Groundwater At USS Lead

Nov 28, 2018

The Environmental Protection Agency is making progress on a long-awaited groundwater investigation at the USS Lead Superfund site in East Chicago. The EPA recently announced it will oversee the installation of 10 more groundwater monitoring wells and give the community quarterly updates on what the agency finds. 

Environmental Protection Agency representatives spoke with East Chicago residents about tentative cleanup plans for the former public housing complex in the Superfund site.

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.

Hammond Facility Emitted Twice Legal Amount Of Lead

Nov 9, 2018

A lead-processing facility in Hammond emitted twice as much lead as the legal limit allows. That’s according to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, who issued a citation to Whiting Metals, LLC.

EPA Allows Dicamba For Another Two Years

Nov 9, 2018

The weedkiller dicamba — which has a habit of drifting off one farmer’s field and killing crops in another — will stay on the market for two more years. The Environmental Protection Agency recently re-approved its use for dicamba resistant soybean and cotton crops. 

The Environmental Protection Agency doesn't recommend pouring leftover pesticide down a sink, toilet, on the ground, or in a storm drain. Pesticides — by their very nature — are designed to kill. As part of WFIU’s project Inquire Indiana, Bloomington resident Eric Rensberger wanted to know how to properly dispose of his weed killer. 

Young Backs Bill To Make HUD Inspect Lead Pipes

Oct 1, 2018

U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) helped introduce a bill that would prevent lead in drinking water in low-income housing. It’s called Get the Lead Out of Assisted Housing Act of 2018

A state agency has convinced the City of East Chicago to fully replace lead pipes in some homes near the USS Lead Superfund site. It had only been doing partial replacements — a practice the Environmental Protection Agency says doesn't reduce lead contamination and can sometimes make it worse. 

Experts looking for cancer-causing chemicals in Franklin say, so far, they don’t see a widespread problem in the city. But recent sampling results show very high levels in some tests, indicating more investigation is needed. 

EPA Not Monitoring Asbestos In Midwest Schools

Sep 18, 2018

Indiana is one of many states that relies on the Environmental Protection Agency to make sure its schools are keeping kids safe from asbestos. In high doses, it can cause cancer and other diseases. But a new report by the agency’s internal watchdog shows the EPA isn’t making asbestos a priority. 

Oil Site Cleanup Underway In Indianapolis

Sep 7, 2018

The Environmental Protection Agency recently started cleanup of an abandoned oil site in Indianapolis. From the 1950s to the 1980s the site was an oil collection business, then owned for a few years by a hazardous material contractor until it was abandoned for 25 years.

The Environmental Protection Agency plans to tighten restrictions on lead dust in homes. But it wouldn’t affect those by Superfund sites like USS Lead in East Chicago. Advocates say the EPA needs to do more to protect the people most vulnerable to lead dust exposure. 

City Wants To Speed Up Testing In Franklin

Aug 28, 2018

​​The City of Franklin wants to speed up testing for cancer-causing chemicals. The city announced Tuesday it's hired the same company that tested two Franklin elementary schools, EnviroForensics, to collect samples at some homes next to the old Amphenol industrial site. 

The City of East Chicago is working to replace lead pipes in up to 800 homes near the USS Lead Superfund site. Residents found out at a public meeting Thursday night some lead lines are only getting partially replaced leaving those residents still at risk. 

EPA Halts Obama-Era Clean Car Standards

Aug 3, 2018

The Environmental Protection Agency is making good on plans to halt Obama-era fuel economy standards. It announced a new proposal Thursday that claims to prioritize safety over fuel efficiency. 

Franklin Community Schools says kids can return to Needham and Webb elementary schools on Aug. 8, the end of summer break. A company tested the properties for cancer-causing chemicals that some think could be contributing to high child cancer rates in the area.

(Courtesy of Cummins)
Lauren Chapman

A joint effort between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Indiana-based Cummins Inc. found some of the manufacturer’s engines have faulty emissions control system components.

The federal government doesn’t require schools to test for lead and neither do most states — including Indiana. As a result, school districts around the country are often left to decide how much lead is too much, what water fixtures to test, and when to test them.

Despite Efforts To Stop Drift, Dicamba Complaints Up

Jul 12, 2018

Half way through the year, complaints about the weed killer dicamba are increasing. This could mean efforts to stop the chemical from drifting across property lines aren’t working. 

At a press conference environmentalists and others opposed the EPA's plans to roll back clean car standards (Rebecca Thiele/IPB News)
Lauren Chapman

A former Environmental Protection Agency employee, two Indiana lawmakers, and environmentalists opposed the EPA’s plans to change clean car standards at a press conference Monday. The standards require new cars and light trucks build after 2025 to get about 50 miles to the gallon.

Indiana is one of 15 states that pushed for a federal district court to dismiss a lawsuit against oil and gas companies that contribute to climate issues. The states got their wish this week. 

(U.S. EPA)
Lauren Chapman

The region of the Environmental Protection Agency that includes Indiana has lost more than 100 employees since President Donald Trump’s election. A union that represents EPA Region 5 says that means there are fewer watchdogs in the Midwest.