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USS Lead Superfund Site

The USS Lead Superfund site is located in East Chicago, Indiana. The site includes part of the former USS Lead facility along with nearby commercial, municipal and residential areas.  The primary contaminants of concern are lead and arsenic. The USS Lead site was listed on the National Priorities List of the worst contaminated sites in the country in 2009. The Superfund site is broken into two Operable Units. The first, OU1, has been divided into three zones. These zones include a public housing complex and residential properties. OU2 includes soil at the former USS Lead facility, as well as groundwater beneath both that facility and the residential neighborhoods. 

Latest News

EPA begins review of soil cleanup actions at the USS Lead Superfund site

(Versión en Español: Primera Revisión De Cada Cinco Años En Marcha (2 pp, 325.94 KB)

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has begun the first five-year review of the USS Lead Superfund site cleanup in East Chicago, Indiana. EPA will evaluate whether the cleanup continues to be protective of public health and the environment.

Five-year reviews are part of the Superfund process and are generally required when hazardous substances remain on-site above levels that allow for unlimited use and unrestricted access. During the five-year review, EPA will conduct activities such as community notification, document review, data review and analysis, and site inspections. All findings will be summarized in a report that is scheduled be completed by October 2021. 

EPA’s cleanup at the USS Lead site began in 2016 to remove contaminated soil from residential and commercial properties. At the USS Lead site, contamination above EPA standards remains in some areas at depths of at least 2 feet below the surface and under structures such as buildings, sidewalks and roads.

The 322-acre site is bounded by East Chicago Avenue on the north, East 151st Street on the south, the Indiana Harbor Canal on the west and Parrish Avenue on the east. EPA has divided the site into two “operable units.” The five-year review will be conducted on Operable Unit 1, which has been further subdivided into three zones. EPA will review the soil cleanups completed in Zones 2 and 3. Because cleanup is pending at the former West Calumet Housing Complex property in Zone 1, it is not part of the current review.

Operable Unit 2 consists of the surface and subsurface of the former USS Lead facility and groundwater beneath the entire site. Because the remedial investigation for this part of the site is currently in progress, it is also not part of the current review.

The five-year-review process is further detailed in the following fact sheets:

EPA Fact Sheet - First Five-Year Review Underway (2 pp, 376.78 KB)

Five Year Review Process in the Superfund Program (PDF) (8 pp, 733 K).

The five-year-review is an opportunity for you to tell EPA about site conditions and any concerns you have. To provide your feedback, please contact Sarah Rolfes  (rolfes.Sarah@epa.gov) or Janet Pope (pope.janet@epa.gov).