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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 amends cleanup plan for former West Calumet Housing Complex in Zone 1 of USS Lead Superfund Site, East Chicago, Indiana

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler has amended the 2012 cleanup plan for the former West Calumet Housing Complex in Zone 1 of the USS Lead Superfund Site in East Chicago, Ind. The amendment to the Record of Decision reflects EPA’s awareness of local efforts to redevelop Zone 1 for commercial use, although the current designation remains residential.

"Administrator Wheeler is delivering on EPA's promise to the people of East Chicago to accelerate the cleanup at this site," said EPA Region 5 Administrator Kurt Thiede. "Promoting redevelopment and community revitalization in East Chicago is a top priority for EPA. Considering local preferences for future land use is an important part of the Superfund cleanup program."

EPA estimates that cleanup to residential reuse standards would cost approximately $28.8 million and would take 7 months.  The cleanup would require 2 feet of lead- and arsenic-contaminated soil to be removed, disposed of off-site and replaced with clean soil.  The site would then be suitable for new housing development. In response to public comments, the ROD amendment also requires management of contaminated soil while such redevelopment is underway.

The city of East Chicago has indicated a preference for redeveloping the property for commercial/industrial use. EPA's amendment now includes a contingent cleanup plan to accommodate this potential change. If the property is re-zoned and a developer commits, the ROD amendment requires cleanup of the property to the level required for industrial/commercial reuse.  This type of cleanup would cost an estimated $14.1 million and would take approximately 5 months. 

The signed ROD amendment document will be publicly available on this website shortly. Please check back for updates.

Record of Decision Amendment for the USS Lead Superfund Site Zone 1 (94pp, 2.1 MB, About PDF)