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U.S. Smelter & Lead Refinery Superfund Site

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Community Involvement Coordinator
Janet Pope (pope.janet@epa.gov)
312-353-0628 or 800-621-8431, ext.30628

Remedial Project Manager
Michael Berkoff (berkoff.michael@epa.gov)
312-353-8983 or 800-621-8431, ext. 38983


(where to view written records)

East Chicago Public Library
Reference Department
2401 E. Columbus Drive
East Chicago, IN 46312

East Chicago Public Library
1008 West Chicago Ave
East Chicago, IN

Public Meeting

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state of Indiana have reached an agreement with the Atlantic Richfield Company and E.I. Du Pont De Nemours and Company. Under the terms of the agreement, ARC and DuPont will fund the cleanup of contaminated soils in portions of the Calumet neighborhood in East Chicago, Indiana.  Soils in the Calumet neighborhood contain high levels of lead and arsenic.

EPA will be holding two meetings in the neighborhood and you are invited to attend to get more information about the upcoming activities.   After the presentation, you may ask questions about what you've heard.

Tuesday, Nov. 18, 6:00 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Carrie Gosch Elementary School
455 E. 148th St.
East Chicago

Wednesday, Nov. 19, 6:00 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Riley Park Recreation Center
1005 E. Chicago Ave.
East Chicago


Technical Assistance Grant and Community Advisory Group are two ways the community can get involved. Learn more about CAGs and TAGs

U.S. Smelter and Lead Refinery, Inc. (USS Lead) facility is located on a 79-acre tract of land in East Chicago, Indiana.  The USS Lead Superfund site includes both a portion of the former USS Lead facility and nearby commercial, municipal, and residential properties. The primary contaminants of concern at the site are lead and arsenic.

 From 1906 to 1920, the Delamar Copper Refinery operated at the USS Lead facility as a copper smelter. In 1920, the property was purchased by U.S. Smelting Refining and Mining and the facility became a lead refinery. The property was later purchased by USS Lead. Between 1972 and 1973, the USS Lead facility was converted to a secondary lead smelter, recovering lead from automobile batteries. All operations USS lead ceased in 1985. While USS lead was a significant contributor to contamination in the area, EPA’s investigations indicate that other facilities in the area have also been significant sources of contamination to the residential area.

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Site Updates

October 2014

On Nov. 30, 2012, EPA issued its final cleanup plan for OU1, the residential area. The plan includes removal and off-site disposal of soil with lead concentrations exceeding 400 milligrams per kilogram, or mg/kg, and arsenic concentrations exceeding 26 mg/kg, to two feet deep. Based on EPA’s study, approximately 53 percent of the properties will need to be cleaned up. That would mean roughly 723 of 1,271 properties.

Upcoming work
This month EPA begins planning and design work in Zone 1. Workers will be collecting soil samples at properties in the public housing area that were not previously tested. When sampling results are confirmed, EPA will identify which yards need to be cleaned up. Work to remove contaminated soil in Zone 1 yards is expected to begin in the spring of 2015.

Before work begins, EPA officials will meet with each property owner to discuss details of the cleanup on their property. In general, workers will dig up and remove contaminated soil up to two feet deep and replace it with clean soil, including six inches of topsoil. Then they will put seed or sod on the clean soil, restoring each yard to the condition it was in before work began – all at no cost to the homeowner. ARC and DuPont will transport the contaminated soil to a licensed landfill for proper disposal.

At the same time, EPA will start collecting soil samples from yards in Zone 3. Zone 2 will be cleaned up under a separate agreement.


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