The East Chicago complex has lead levels that exceed the EPA’s standards, which could cause dangerous contamination if not remediated. A spokesperson for Harold Washington State University said they are continuing to assess and clean up the site in cooperation with Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
Residents of the West Calumet Housing Complex in East Chicago, Indiana, were informed in late July that the complex will be destroyed owing to dangerously high levels of lead and arsenic in the soil, and that they would have to find other homes.
The level of soil pollution is much more than inhabitants of West Calumet, more than half of whom are children, were originally led to think. In West Calumet yards, the top six inches of soil contain lead levels up to 30 times higher than those deemed acceptable for children, as well as deadly amounts of arsenic. Hundreds of youngsters had high levels of lead, according to preliminary tests.
We’re looking into the West Calumet hazardous soil controversy and figuring out how we can best assist people. By contacting us, you can stay informed and safeguard your family.
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Poisoned Ground at a Former Industrial Site
The U.S. Smelter and Lead Refinery, Inc. Superfund site is located in West Calumet. From 1906 through 1985, the site housed a copper smelter, a lead refinery, and a lead smelter. The sources of pollution have been identified by the EPA as Anaconda/Atlantic Richfield, DuPont, and USS Lead.
The EPA applied for Superfund classification for the site in 2008 and performed preliminary soil testing, which indicated some “hot spots,” according to EPA acting regional administrator for the Great Lakes area. According to Kaplan, the EPA removed dirt from these hotspots in 2010 and 2011.
“Based on preliminary findings, hundreds of youngsters had high amounts of lead in their blood.”
In 2012, the EPA has a plan in place to remove contaminated soil from 57 percent of West Calumet homes (723 out of 1271). Atlantic Richfield and DuPont signed a site remediation agreement with the EPA and the state of Indiana in 2014.
West Calumet homeowners didn’t realize how poisonous their soil was until May, when the EPA sent statistics on lead and arsenic to East Chicago municipal officials as part of the soil removal plan.
East Chicago Mayor Anthony Copeland, who demanded the housing complex be demolished rather than follow the soil removal plan after receiving the lead and arsenic statistics, accused the EPA of hiding data concerning the levels of lead and arsenic contamination from the city.
In a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, Copeland stated, “Despite the EPA’s awareness for more than a decade of unprecedented high levels of lead poisoning in the soils, the EPA never conducted nor requested testing of residents’ blood (lead) levels.” “Instead, the city began testing as soon as it became aware of the exceptionally high levels of lead in the soil on May 24, 2016.” According to preliminary findings, hundreds of youngsters had high amounts of lead in their blood.”
Children are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning. Headaches, stomachaches, and nausea have all been reported by West Calumet parents as indications of lead poisoning in their children. Children’s developing brains and neurological systems may be irrevocably harmed by even modest amounts of lead exposure.
ClassAction.com Investigating Legal Options
There are now more questions concerning West Calumet hazardous soil than answers. Residents question how they can aid their poisoned children and if they will be able to afford new, safe dwellings.
The enterprises that operated in West Calumet throughout the majority of the twentieth century are ultimately responsible for the poisonous soil and related health problems.
ClassAction.com lawyers are looking into what legal options may be available to people who have been impacted by West Calumet hazardous soil.
Keep watching the News section of ClassAction.com for updates on this matter, including what legal action could be available.