Calumet Lead Crisis Update – 16 Oct

East Chicago residents organizing the Community Advocacy Group have decided on the name East Chicago Undivided and are prioritizing the issues concerning all Superfund residents: “health issues; relocation and housing; soil, groundwater and other testing; future property use; and public outreach,” according to the NWI Times. Their next meeting is this Saturday from 2-4pm at the Pastrick branch of the East Chicago Public Library. An EPA representative will present at a meeting on the following Saturday, 1-3pm.

NWI Times education reporter Carmen McCollum updates the situation for the School City of East Chicago, the subject of tomorrow’s Byline podcast. With enrollment down 200 students from last year, and numbers changing every day as more families leave the city, Superintendent McNulty hopes special legislation will allow the district to receive funding at last year’s enrollment level. She also hopes the original Carrie Gosch building will be included in the Superfund site, which will open up funding to demolish the building. State Senator Lonnie Randolph says a bill introduced when session begins in January.

1 Track Media, a film crew from Ithica, New York returned to East Chicago over the weekend, to document the CAG meeting and the EPA’s “one stop shop.” Their previous visit two weeks ago was eventful, they were confronted by East Chicago police for allegedly photographing the BP refinery. According to East Chicago organizer Thomas Frank, the police “demanded their memory cards” and told the young filmmakers “it was illegal to photograph an oil refinery. To the student’s credit, they never gave up their memory cards and we were allowed to leave as long as we didn’t photograph BP.”

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