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USS Lead Superfund Site Cleanup Status

East Chicago, Indiana
December 2007

Printable version of this fact sheet (PDF) (1pg, 66K, About PDF)


Site Name: U.S. Smelter & Lead Refinery Superfund Site

Location: The site is located in an industrialized section of southern East Chicago, Ind., adjacent to Interstate 80/90.

Size: 79 acres

The site and surrounding properties are zoned for industrial land uses. Adjacent activities include a large chemical factory and a tank farm. The site is bordered by the Industrial Harbor Belt Railroad to the north, Interstate 80/90 to the south, Kennedy Avenue to the east and the Indiana Harbor Canal to the west.

Surrounding population:


The National Priorities List or NPL is a roster of the most hazardous waste sites in the country that are eligible for cleanup under EPA's Superfund program. The USS Lead site was originally proposed for the NPL in 1992, but consideration was put on hold when the Agency decided to pursue cleanup funding under another federal program called the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). RCRA cleanups are for operating, viable facilities, so due to the USS Lead bankruptcy EPA is re-evaluating current conditions at the site to determine if it is eligible for the NPL. Before a site is placed on the Superfund list it must be evaluated or assessed using EPA's "Hazard Ranking System." If the site scores high enough as an actual or potential threat to public health and the environment, it can qualify for the NPL. The public also gets a chance to comment before a site is officially placed on the NPL.


Prior to the USS Lead bankruptcy, several cleanup actions were undertaken on the site under RCRA. In one of these actions, EPA designated an area on the site as a "Corrective Action Management Unit" or CAMU in 1996. The CAMU consolidated the hazardous material from three closed waste dumps into one location and also received contaminated sediment (mud) and soil from cleanup projects on other portions of the USS Lead site. Indiana Department of Environmental Management now wants to issue a post-closure permit for the CAMU facility to cover future operations, maintenance and monitoring. The permit also establishes a trust fund for post-closure costs based on USS Lead's ability to pay. IDEM is expected to issue a response to public comments on the permit and a final decision by the end of 2007.


For more information on the status of the USS Lead Superfund Site, please contact:

Michael Berkoff (berkoff.michael@epa.gov)
EPA Remedial Project Manager
EPA Region 5 toll-free: 800-621-8431, ext. 38983

Janet Pope (pope.janet@epa.gov)
EPA Community Involvement Coordinator
EPA Region 5 toll-free: 800-621-8431, ext. 30628

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