The City of East Chicago, Indiana has responded to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s emergency declaration covering the city’s lead contamination crisis. East Chicago Mayor Anthony Copeland identified 15 projects totaling over $56 million to help the city address the lead contamination crisis.
In his executive order declaring an emergency, Gov. Holcomb asked the city to provide his office with an assessment of additional resource needs.
The top project on the list? Replacing lead drinking water service lines and other underground water utilities. The cost for doing so within the USS Lead Superfund site is over $40 million. And the city estimates an additional $30 million would be needed to replace the remaining service lines city-wide.
While the city currently feeds phosphate into the drinking water supply to prevent lead from leaching out of pipes, the report says, quote, “ultimately the only way to eliminate lead is to remove the lead service lines.”
Some of the other projects identified by the city include lead paint abatement, distributing home water filters, and replacing water fixtures in schools and public buildings.
In an emailed statement, Gov, Holcomb’s office said they received the report and they are working on it.