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Judge Denies East Chicago Residents Say In Cleanup Plans

A makeshift construction site in the USS Lead Superfund site, which neighbors the former DuPont facility.

A federal judge has denied East Chicago residents’ request to intervene in court proceedings concerning lead contamination in a public housing complex there.

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

Lawyer Debbie Chizewer works with the residents of the Superfund site.

She says while the motion to intervene did cause the Environmental Protection Agency to take action more quickly at the site, residents are still concerned.

“There are still many outstanding issues at the site including contaminated ground water, outstanding indoor lead dust issues, and many properties that still need to be cleaned,” Chizewer says.

Chizewer added that residents still plan to make their voices heard even if they not able to in the courtroom.

“Every week, residents are going to be raising their voices and pressuring EPA and the polluters to do a better job to protect the health of the community,” Chizewer says.

Residents and advocacy groups originally filed for intervention in 2016, arguing recent developments at the U.S.S. Lead Superfund site — along with changes to the remediation plans — should permit them a role in court proceedings.

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