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EPA: East Chicago Cleanup To Cost 4 Times Original Estimate

A sign from the Environmental Protection agency warns residents not to play in the soil, which is contaminated with lead and arsenic. (Lauren Chapman/IPBS)

Photo: Lauren Chapman (IPB News)

A sign from the Environmental Protection agency warns residents not to play in the soil, which is contaminated with lead and arsenic.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says the estimated cost of cleaning up lead and arsenic in a northwestern Indiana city has ballooned to nearly four times initial estimates.

An EPA document released Friday says the anticipated cleanup cost for two residential zones in East Chicago are expected to increase from the original $22.8 million estimate to a new estimate of $84.9 million.

The Post-Tribune reports the EPA says it based the initial cost estimate on sampling done at 7 percent of the homes in the two residential areas. But now that testing has been done at 90 percent of the properties, the EPA says that data revealed more remediation requiring more resources.

The EPA designated the areas that once housed a lead-salvage company as a Superfund cleanup site in 2009.

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