Home > East Chicago, The Land I Use > The Land I Use {Regional Rats}: Lead Contamination in My Community

The Land I Use {Regional Rats}: Lead Contamination in My Community

~17% of my neighbors live on contaminated land. ~17 East Chicago’s residential properties are part of a Superfund Site. After more than 20-years of knowledge of the real potential for contamination, and clearing the legal slate of PRPs (prior responsible parties) the site was placed on the National Priority List (NPL) in March 2009.

via [ Post-Tribune ] “EPA Testing Soil for Lead Contamination” By Gitte Laasby

EAST CHICAGO — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is collecting soil samples in East Chicago to find out whether residential yards are contaminated with lead.

The residences are located between East Chicago Avenue and 151st Street and between Aster and Parrish avenues near one of the most contaminated sites in the nation, the former U.S. Smelter and Lead Refinery Inc. site at 5300 Kennedy Ave.

The EPA began collecting samples from front and back yards Monday and will continue for about two weeks. The soil samples are free to residents and all work is done outside the homes.

The EPA held an informational session to explain the testing process and answer questions about the site Monday and will hold another one today.

EPA will also hold a meeting on Dec. 17, to update the community about sampling and clean-up plans. Representatives from EPA and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management will be available to answer questions.

The U.S. Smelter site was added to the EPA’s Superfund list in early September. The list contains the most toxic sites in the nation that pose a risk to health and the environment.

The site and residential properties north of it are contaminated with lead. The lead was most likely dispersed from long-removed smokestacks while the business operated between 1920 and 1985. The company recovered lead from car batteries.

In July 2008, EPA removed lead-contaminated soil from 15 homes near the site. Exposure to high levels of lead can cause developmental problems and lower intelligence in young children. Lead exposure can also increase blood pressure in middle-aged men, according to IDEM.

  1. October 18th, 2015 at 19:16 | #1

    Jack,Thank you for your opinion. It aarpeps that we have differing views on this topic, but I always welcome a friendly debate. Unfortunately, trying to convince a recycling company not to be green won’t work too well I mean, we have All Green in our name. Parts of the USA are probably (relatively) fine, but parts are definitely polluted. I can see it. I live in the LA area and while the smog and air quality has improved, it is pretty bad especially when you compare it to central Oregon where I went to college. Acid rain has happened, I don’t know why you would claim it hasn’t. The pH of rain is easily measured and a fact whether or not you think it is bad is your opinion. Distilled water is neutral with a pH of 7, but the CO2 in the atmosphere reacts with rainwater to give it an acidic pH of 5.7-7. So even regular rain is acidic by definition. Any pH lower than 5 can cause problems for wildlife. No government organization is perfect, but we do need something to regulate the environment.

  2. November 19th, 2015 at 15:16 | #2

    Thinking like that shows an expert’s touch

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