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EPA proposes $22.6 million cleanup for DuPont industrial area in East Chicago, Ind.

Contact Information: 
Francisco Arcaute (
312-886-7613 312-898-2042 Cell

For Immediate Release    No. 17-OPA090

EPA proposes $22.6 million cleanup for DuPont industrial area in East Chicago, Ind.

CHICAGO (November 29, 2017) – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a public comment period on its proposed $22.6 million cleanup of soil and groundwater at the industrial area of the former DuPont facility in East Chicago, Ind. The 440-acre DuPont site at 5215 Kennedy Ave. is contaminated with arsenic, lead, zinc and cadmium. The DuPont site is located south of the USS Lead Superfund site where a separate cleanup is currently in progress. 

In April, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt visited the nearby USS Lead Superfund site -- which housed the former West Calumet Housing complex – and heard directly from residents affected by similar contamination in their community. The same month, EPA reached an agreement with several potentially responsible parties to provide an additional $16 million for cleanup at residential properties on the USS Lead Superfund site. This year, EPA removed contaminated soil from about 200 residential properties and provided dust cleanups inside about 50 homes located on the USS Lead Superfund site. The Administrator pledged during his visit that federal, state and local partners will continue to coordinate on current and future cleanup activities at contaminated sites in East Chicago.

“The proposed cleanup at the former DuPont site further demonstrates EPA’s commitment to finding solutions to protect the health and safety of East Chicago residents,” said Administrator Scott Pruitt.

The upcoming DuPont site cleanup will focus on a solid waste landfill, open and/or filled land, former industrial property available for redevelopment and leased industrial property. EPA has proposed the following under the legal authority of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act program:

  • Removal of more than 61,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil, replacement with clean soil, and installation of a 1-foot-thick permeable soil cover;

  • Treatment of groundwater with injections to reduce sulfates, a bio-wall trench, and steps to prevent arsenic-contaminated groundwater from migrating off-site;

  • Fencing and compliance with industrial zoning requirements as well as health and safety rules for digging; and

  • Financial assurances from the site owner.  

EPA began a 60-day public comment period on the DuPont cleanup plan this week. The Agency will hold a public meeting starting at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 10, 2018, at the Pastrick Branch Library in East Chicago to present the proposed plan, answer questions and take oral and written comments. The comment period closes on Jan. 26, 2018.