Indiana governor: New law will aid lead-tainted region

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Gov. Eric Holcomb is praising a new state law that will help a northwestern Indiana city deal with lead and arsenic contamination that's forcing residents in a public housing complex from their homes.

Holcomb joined East Chicago officials for a ceremonial bill signing Thursday in a park that's within a Superfund site in the industrial city about 25 miles from downtown Chicago.

The new law will compel state environmental officials to help with the site cleanup and to test soil and water throughout East Chicago, The Post-Tribune reported.

The bill also requires Indiana's housing authority to work with federal officials on relocating residents from the West Calumet Housing Complex, which was built on a site previously occupied by a lead-products factory.

Holcomb recently announced that a state agency plans to locate a new public housing development in East Chicago.

"We are getting things done because we are working shoulder to shoulder and taking these steps together," he said.

State Rep. Earl Harris Jr., an East Chicago Democrat who sponsored the legislation, said it aims to provide relief to residents being forced from their homes due to the industrial contamination.

"We know that this problem did not happen in five minutes, in a week, in a month and we know that it's going to take a little bit of time to get through it and get back to where we should be," he said.

East Chicago Mayor Anthony Copeland said the legislation puts "everyone on notice that we work together as one."

"It's important we don't get a negative stigmatism so people don't want to come here," he said.

City officials began evacuating about 1,000 residents of the West Calumet complex last year after soil tests found some yards with lead levels over 70 times the U.S. safety standard. Lead exposure, even at low levels, can cause nervous system damage and lowered IQs.


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  1. Don't we have bigger issues to concern ourselves with?

  2. Anyone who takes the time to study disciplinary and bar admission cases in Indiana ... much of which is, as a matter of course and by intent, off the record, would have a very difficult time drawing lines that did not take into account things which are not supposed to matter, such as affiliations, associations, associates and the like. Justice Hoosier style is a far departure than what issues in most other parts of North America. (More like Central America, in fact.) See, e.g., When while the Indiana court system end the cruel practice of killing prophets of due process and those advocating for blind justice?

  3. Wouldn't this call for an investigation of Government corruption? Chief Justice Loretta Rush, wrote that the case warranted the high court’s review because the method the Indiana Court of Appeals used to reach its decision was “a significant departure from the law.” Specifically, David wrote that the appellate panel ruled after reweighing of the evidence, which is NOT permissible at the appellate level. **But yet, they look the other way while an innocent child was taken by a loving mother who did nothing wrong"

  4. Different rules for different folks....

  5. I would strongly suggest anyone seeking mediation check the experience of the mediator. There are retired judges who decide to become mediators. Their training and experience is in making rulings which is not the point of mediation.