East Chicago Lead Crisis

VISCLOSKY ON EAST CHICAGO

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November 14, 2016

By: Annie Ropeik, IPB News

EAST CHICAGO -A group of Indiana lawmakers called this month for federal authorities to speed up funding to tear down a lead-contaminated East Chicago public housing complex.

Visclosky joined Senators Joe Donnelly and Dan Coats in asking federal officials to approve East Chicago’s funding request for demolishing West Calumet Housing Complex. It’s contaminated with lead and arsenic from an old smelting plant.

Visclosky, who has represented Northwest Indiana’s first district since 1985, says demolition will pave the way for redevelopment in the low-income neighborhood, bringing back jobs, homes and amenities. But all in all, he says he feels the response to the contamination is moving as quickly as it can.

“The fact is, people are very engaged, and they’re cooperating to make sure that people are treated with respect as far as the relocation in the neighborhood, that we proceed with the demolition, because, again, longer-term, that helps with the renewed development in a city like East Chicago,” said Visclosky.

He says he and his colleagues are focusing on that because the Environmental Protection Agency already has funds to clean up the contamination. The EPA and the responsible chemical companies have agreed to split the bill for remediation.

 

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