East Chicago

Children at the East Chicago Urban Enterprise Academy school learned how to test air, water, and soil samples for lead Tuesday with help from the NAACP.

The school sits right across the street from the USS Lead Superfund site, a federal toxic waste clean-up site contaminated with lead and arsenic.

Principal Veronica Eskew says the lead testing let her students take ownership over how lead poisoning affects them.

The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development gave the East Chicago Housing Authority $4 million Thursday to tear down a lead contaminated public housing complex.

The West Calumet Housing Complex in East Chicago, Indiana is the most contaminated section of a federal toxic waste cleanup site. Last spring, the city forced about a thousand residents to move out of the complex, a process that took nearly a year.

Nick Janzen / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Government officials first found high levels of lead and arsenic at an East Chicago lead smelting plant in 1985. Thirty years later, after countless soil samples and elevated blood lead level tests, clean-up has begun. Why did it take so long?

 


Claire McInerny / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Latasha Marshall waits for a cab. She sits in the lobby of a Hilton Garden Inn, which serves as her living room this week. The Environmental Protection Agency put her up for the week so the agency can deep clean her home; it tested for high levels of lead.


Annie Ropeik / Indiana Public Broadcasting

The West Calumet neighborhood in East Chicago, Ind. is a federally designated clean-up site — a Superfund. Its soil contains lead and arsenic at levels that, residents recently learned, are much worse than expected.