"EAST CHICAGO, Ind. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants to remove hundreds of once-contaminated East Chicago properties from its National Priorities List to spur development in the northwestern Indiana city that could potentially qualify homes for interior lead abatement.
The National Priorities List, which is part of the federal agency’s Superfund program, tracks the nation’s most contaminated sites that threaten human health or the environment. The EPA’s plan to remove the East Chicago properties from that list comes four years after the agency began cleaning up lead contamination in the city’s Calumet neighborhoods.
But critics contend the proposed removal of those properties is premature given the EPA’s ongoing groundwater study, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.
“As far as we are aware, EPA did not notify or consult with residents before announcing this proposal and that is totally inappropriate,” said Nancy Loeb, associate professor with the Pritzker Law School’s Environmental Law Clinic at Northwestern University. The Chicago-based law clinic has long worked pro bono on behalf of homeowners who live at the East Chicago site."