The city of East Chicago was declared a Superfund site, nearing the top of the list of the worst contaminated sites in the Unites States in 2009. Earlier in February, the new governor declared a state of emergency for the Superfund Site in East Chicago, which has been shown to be contaminated by exorbitantly high levels of lead and arsenic. Previous proposals for additional funding to help clean up the soil and clear the area of especially lead, were denied by now-Vice-President Mike Pence.
In a telling display of solidarity with the local community, Governor Holcomb signed an executive order that promises to:
- seek additional federal funding for cleanup efforts,
- help relocate the community currently living with dangerously elevated levels of lead,
- direct funds towards soil remediation efforts, and
- safely demolish contaminated buildings and areas of that could pose a threat to future inhabitants.
This proposal, specifically, will seek out several million dollars worth of federal funding that helps relocate citizens into a new, healthy area. West Calumet, a housing project, will be the center of the cleanup efforts. Some funds will also be directed to replacing lead water pipes in the area, a growing concern with the recent discovery of how lead effects water supplies like in Flint, Michigan.
Lead is a biological contaminant that is very slow to leave our bodies, and has a wide range of negative health impacts. The effects of lead poisoning can cause neurological, cardiovascular, muscular, skeletal, and even reproductive system issues. These effects are especially dangerous to children, who are more susceptible to ingesting lead contamination, and who experience more negative side effects than adults. While it will be a long time until remediation efforts are complete, the Governor’s 30 day action plan should be enough to get the ball rolling and bring everyone one step closer to being able to safely use this area again.
MT2 is an industry leader in completing environmental cleanup soil remediation services in project sites across the United States. MT2 has treated over 1,000,000 tons of lead and other hazardous waste materials utilizing our patented ECOBOND® lead treatment formula. We provide a wide range of proven state-of-the-art stabilization technologies, waste removal and services designed to define the problem and identify the optimal approach to cleanup and restoring the soil and sediments to acceptable levels.