EAST CHICAGO, Ind.
(AP) - A federal agency says that East Chicago failed to evaluate or
mitigate hazards in some federally-funded housing projects in the years
after the northwest Indiana neighborhoods were designated as a toxic
An investigation by
the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development concluded that East
Chicago officials’ inaction may have endangered families’ health and safety.
The findings were discovered during and inspection of city environmental
reviews of properties from 2009 to 2015.
East Chicago spent
nearly $232,000 in grant money from the department to rehab 14 low-income
properties in the Superfund site from 2008 to 2017, according to records.
The city released a
statement Thursday that placed blame on the federal government, The
(Northwest Indiana) Times reported. The statement alleged that the
Environmental Protection Agency gave East Chicago approval on projects that
didn’t disturb the soil and that the Housing and Urban Development
Department’s rules lack clarity about soil testing.
project sites to be free of “hazardous materials, contamination, toxic
chemicals and gases, and radioactive substances.”
attention should be given to any proposed site on or in the general
proximity of such areas as dumps, landfills, industrial sites, or other
locations that may contain or have contained, hazardous wastes,” according
The city said that
staff wasn’t aware of specific contamination at any of its project sites.
“The City has
responded to HUD’s initial deadline regarding contacting the EPA and still
has time to respond to the findings outlined in the letter,” the spokesman
for the department said.