The Environmental Protection Agency has finalized its plans to clean up contamination at the site of the old DuPont chemical plant in East Chicago. It’s adjacent to infamous U.S.S. Lead Superfund site.
The soil has high levels of arsenic, lead, cadmium, and zinc. EPA estimates the cleanup will cost more than $26 million.
Debbie Chizewer is an attorney with Northwestern University Law School’s Environmental Advocacy Clinic, which represents East Chicago residents affected by the U.S.S. Lead site. She says residents will be pleased to see that the EPA heard their requests to move the affected soil off site and away from the neighborhood.
“However, EPA did not change the plan with regard to
addressing the groundwater contamination,” she says.
Chizewar says groundwater contaminated with arsenic often floods residents’ basements and lawns — which could put them at risk for certain types of cancers and skin issues.
The EPA will hold a public meeting to discuss the cleanup plan on Sept. 15 at 10 a.m. at the former Carrie Gosch School in East Chicago.
Indiana Environmental reporting is supported by the Environmental Resilience Institute, an Indiana University Grand Challenge project developing Indiana-specific projections and informed responses to problems of environmental change.