In East Chicago, Fallout from Toxic Soil Runs Deep in Community

The northwest corner of Indiana has long been the home of heavy industry. In the early 1900s, steel mills and lead smelting plants dominated the landscape.

Many of the mills and plants have closed, but the environmental damage they left behind is a legacy that is largely being felt by the low-income and minority communities that remain there.

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The Environmental Protection Agency has begun to remediate the damage in East Chicago, Indiana, but as Chicago Tonight explains, progress has been painfully slow.

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The East Chicago mayor’s office said Thursday there are no plans to extend the end-of-October deadline for residents to move out of the West Calumet housing project.

The Shriver Center, which has filed a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development over the move-out order, says it is difficult to see how that can happen.

The city and the Shriver Center are in negotiations with HUD about the complaint and ways to provide more relocation counselors, mobility counselors and relocation expenses such as security deposits, travel and moving expenses, in order to make the move-out order viable.

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