March 12, 2018

Demolition of contaminated East Chicago complex to begin

Two years ago the city and the East Chicago Housing Authority ordered that more than 1,000 West Calumet Housing Complex residents be relocated because of severe arsenic and lead contamination.  - File photo/IPBS

Two years ago the city and the East Chicago Housing Authority ordered that more than 1,000 West Calumet Housing Complex residents be relocated because of severe arsenic and lead contamination.

File photo/IPBS

EAST CHICAGO, Ind. (AP) — A contractor is poised to start preparations for the demolition of a contaminated housing complex in East Chicago.

The Times of Northwest Indiana reports that Brandenburg Industrial Services will on Monday start installing storm water protection devices, personnel and equipment decontamination units and take other measures at the now-vacant West Calumet Housing Complex. The actual demolition is scheduled to begin March 19.

The complex was built on the site of a former lead smelter and two years ago the city and the East Chicago Housing Authority ordered that more than 1,000 residents be relocated because of severe arsenic and lead contamination. The complex has been vacant for months.

After demolition, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will be responsible for developing a plan to clean the site.

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