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West Calumet Housing Complex – East Chicago, Ind.

Update - Nov. 2018

In September 2017, the federal Housing and Urban Development department approved East Chicago Housing Authority’s application to demolish the WCHC. Demolition began in April 2018 and is now complete. All buildings and hardscapes have been removed and the ground has been reseeded. Because of the WCHC demolition, the pool in Goodman Park has also been removed. The basketball court remains.

To clean up soil contamination in Zone 1 (the location of the former housing complex) of the USS Lead site, the EPA is proposing an amendment to the cleanup plan. On Monday, Nov. 12, EPA will begin a 60-day public comment period on the proposed cleanup plan. EPA conducted a feasibility study to evaluate cleanup options based on the City of East Chicago’s stated intention to zone this parcel of land for residential use.

EPA’s proposal to clean up the site to residential standards involves removing more than 160,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil and replacing it with clean soil and seed or sod. Soil below 2 feet would remain undisturbed and in place. EPA’s preference is based on its determination that digging deeper is not meaningfully more protective of residential users and does not justify the additional cost. Excavated soil would be disposed at an approved off-site landfill.  

Digging restrictions and other controls would be instituted to protect future site users from unacceptable risks related to exposure to remaining contaminated soil. Because some contaminated soil would be left in place, EPA would conduct five-year reviews of the cleanup as required by the Superfund law.

Map of West Calumet Housing Complex - East Chicago - Ind.

Results of Lead and Arsenic Testing

EPA took soil samples from front and back yards at all residences in the complex starting in December 2014 and continuing into 2015. Personally identifiable information has been removed.

Results of Lead and Arsenic Testing at West Calumet Housing Complex (Excel spreadsheet)(1 pg, 51 K)