An Illinois-based demolition contractor has been accused of illegally dumping construction debris from a project in the city of Hammond into wetlands near the city of Gary. According to our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana, the wetlands flow into the Grand Calumet River, eventually leading into Lake Michigan.
The paper identifies the company as IESCO of South Holland, Illinois. The company was hired by the city of Hammond to demolish abandoned homes in Hammond. The publication, citing court records, says the company was illegally dumping debris instead of taking it to a landfill.
“Part of the bid is getting rid of the debris properly. I mean, that’s why we pay. And if they dump it illegally, they get to pocket all that money. It’s a breach of trust. That’s not the way we do business,” said Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott.
Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said the illegal dumping, in this case, is "evidence of one of the most significant challenges facing the city of Gary."
"As quickly as we clean up fly dumping, someone is there to fill it in. The good news, in this case, is that IESCO will be held accountable because illegal dumping is an affront to the environment and the citizens who deserve to enjoy it," Freeman-Wilson said.
The publication reports on October 4, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management filed a civil complaint seeking to enforce a cleanup order against the demolition company and the owner of the land.
Click here to read the full report from The Times of Northwest Indiana.