East Chicago Mayor to Sell Contaminated Site
EAST CHICAGO - East Chicago residents are upset with the mayor's plans to sell contaminated land where a housing complex once stood.
Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report report Mayor Anthony Copeland now says he wants to sell the abandoned property of the former West Calumet Housing Complex and allow for industrial purposes.
The public housing complex was condemned three years ago and declared a federal Superfund site due to lead and arsenic contamination of the soil.
The publication reports residents who live in adjacent neighborhoods feel betrayed that the mayor wants to abandon plans for the more stringent removal of soil.
"We want it cleaned up correctly, but by changing it this way, EPA is going to choose the lesser plan, and the surrounding neighborhood will be affected. That’s a big concern," said Marzita Lopez, an East Chicago resident.
According to the newspaper, the mayor and his staff believe any housing development would be doomed from the start because of the extent of the contamination.
Officials with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which is overseeing the cleanup of the Superfund site, have said they will likely clean up to a lesser extent if future use is non-residential or industrial, leaving more contaminated dirt behind.