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EPA Enhances Communication with East Chicago Residents

05/31/2017
Contact Information: 
U.S. EPA Media Relations (press@epa.gov)

EAST CHICAGO – Following U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s visit to the USS Lead Superfund site last month, EPA is taking steps to enhance communication and provide better service to East Chicago residents. This includes designating a community involvement coordinator to serve as a dedicated point of contact for East Chicago residents; monthly community meetings with EPA; and coordination with the East Chicago/Calumet Coalition Community Advisory Group and other community organizations as cleanup continues.

“When I met with East Chicago residents, I heard their issues first-hand and vowed to help correct these problems,” said Administrator Pruitt. “I am making it a priority to ensure contaminated sites get cleaned up. We will take a more hands-on approach to ensure proper oversight and attention to the Superfund program at the highest levels of the Agency.”

“As Administrator Pruitt highlighted during his visit to East Chicago last month, collaboration between the EPA, the State and local East Chicago leaders is critical to addressing past issues on this Superfund site,” Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb said. “I thank the Administrator for taking these important steps and for demonstrating his continued commitment to Hoosiers in northwest Indiana.”

“Administrator Pruitt recognized that the USS Lead Superfund site was important enough to serve as the first Superfund site that he visited. His continued attention is appreciated. This should be the standard at all sites where residents are exposed to hazardous contamination,” said East Chicago resident Maritza Lopez, who met with Administrator Pruitt when he visited the USS Lead Superfund site.

EPA is taking the following steps to enhance communication with East Chicago residents:

•Provide a dedicated, experienced community involvement coordinator as a direct point of contact for all residents with questions and concerns;

•Publicize the hotline number (219-801-2199), available to residents during business hours;

•Host monthly community meetings to provide updates and answer questions from residents;

•Maintain an EPA presence at the Carrie Gosch Elementary School so residents can easily stop in and speak to EPA employees;

•Track all resident inquiries in a database to ensure responses are provided in a timely manner;

•Continue to meet regularly with local, state and federal partners to keep officials apprised of EPA’s work and data collection in the community; and

•Regularly update the USS Lead Superfund website and add frequently asked questions.

For more information, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/uss-lead-superfund-site

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