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News Releases from Region 05

EPA will begin a public comment period on the updated cleanup cost estimate at USS Lead Superfund site, East Chicago, Ind.

Contact Information: 
Rachel Bassler (

For Immediate Release: No. 16-OPA094

CHICAGO (Dec. 13, 2017) — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will begin taking public comments on Dec. 18, 2017 on a proposed explanation for a $60 million increase in its cost estimate for cleanup of zones 2 and 3 of the USS Lead Superfund Site in East Chicago, Ind.

In its 2012 record of decision, EPA initially estimated the USS Lead site cleanup would cost $22.8 million. Since then, EPA has determined that the number and size of properties requiring cleanup in zones 2 and 3 — and the extent of contamination there — are all greater than originally estimated.

The reasons for EPA’s updated $84.9 million cleanup cost estimate are outlined in a document called the “explanation of significant differences,” available online at:

EPA’s 60-day public comment period begins Dec.18, 2017, and closes Feb. 16, 2018. Written comments must be postmarked no later than Feb. 16, 2018. Comments can be sent: 

  • By mail: Janet Pope, Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA Region 5, Superfund Division (SI-6J), 77 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604-3590
  • Via the web:
  • Via email:  

EPA will schedule a public meeting for January at the Carrie Gosch Elementary School in East Chicago to discuss the revised cost estimate and take public comments.

On Dec. 8, Administrator Pruitt named the USS Lead site to a list of 21 Superfund sites across nation which are receiving his immediate and intense attention. The Administrator visited the USS Lead site in April and heard directly from East Chicago residents affected by contamination in their community. He pledged during his visit that federal, state and local partners would continue to coordinate on the cleanup of the USS Lead site. EPA reached a legal agreement with several potentially responsible parties to provide an additional $16 million for cleanup of residential properties on the site.