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East Chicago Lead Contamination Forces Nearly 1,200 from Homes

Nearly 1,200 people are being forced to move from their homes in East Chicago, Indiana, after high levels of lead were found in the soil. The areas most affected are the West Calumet Housing Project as well as the nearby school. That neighborhood was once home to Anaconda, a petroleum company that used lead and arsenic.

Both the EPA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development are trying to deal with the contamination and moving residents, but the two agencies aren’t exactly working together well. The mayor of East Chicago and the residents are also concerned about how the EPA handled the situation and worried about the long-term ramifications of lead exposure as well as the costs of moving.

HUD estimates the relocations will cost over a million dollars.

Joining us with the story is WBEZ’s Northwest Indiana reporter Michael Puente.

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