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About the Grand Calumet River AOC

Grand Calumet River AOC Boundary MapPrintable boundary map and shapefile of Grand Calumet River AOC

The Grand Calumet River, originating in the east end of Gary, Indiana, flows 13 miles through the heavily industrialized cities of Gary, East Chicago and Hammond. It was named an Area of Concern under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement of 1987. All 14 beneficial uses were determined to be impaired.

The highly degraded area contained:
  • contaminated sediments
  • industrial waste site runoff
  • Superfund sites
  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act hazardous waste sites
  • underground storage tanks
  • atmospheric deposition
  • urban runoff
  • contaminated groundwater

The largest extent of the impairment to the AOC comes from legacy pollutants found in the sediments at the bottom of the Grand Calumet River and Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal. Contaminants include PCBs, PAHs and heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, chromium and lead. High fecal coliform bacteria levels, biochemical oxygen demand, suspended solids, and oil and grease create additional problems.

The Area of Concern includes:
  • The east branch of the river
  • A small segment of the west branch
  • The bottom of the Grand Calumet River and Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal
  • Ilinois/Indiana state line

Beneficial Use Impairments

Learn more about BUIs Exit

Restoring the Grand Calumet River AOC (timeline)