January 10, 2018

Young, Donnelly, Visclosky Urge EPA to Consider Extending East Chicago Public Comment Period

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), and U.S. Representative Pete Visclosky (D) IN-1, sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding its recently proposed Statement of Basis for cleanup of the former DuPont industrial area in East Chicago. The letter to EPA’s newly appointed Region Five Administrator Cathy Stepp urges EPA to consider the East Chicago Calumet Coalition Community Advisory Group’s request to extend the deadline for public comment on the Statement of Basis.

“We welcome the EPA’s focus on cleaning this site, exemplified by the proposed Statement of Basis. Members of the community, however, raised concerns to our attention in response to the public comment timeframe and their limited access to supplemental materials relating to the Statement of Basis,” the letter states. “As the EPA works to develop and implement this plan, we urge you to continue to coordinate and communicate with interested stakeholders, local officials, and members of the East Chicago community. To that end, we respectfully request that the EPA consider the East Chicago Calumet Coalition Community Advisory Group’s request to extend the deadline for the public comment period to allow for the opportunity to review the proposed Statement of Basis and submit detailed comments.”

View the full text of the letter here and below.

Ms. Cathy Stepp

Region 5 Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Ralph Metcalfe Federal Building

77 West Jackson Boulevard

Chicago, IL 60604-3590

Dear Administrator Stepp:

Congratulations on your recent appointment as Region 5 Administrator. We look forward to working with you on behalf of our constituents. 

We write regarding the effort to address the contaminated soil and groundwater present at the former DuPont facility in East Chicago, Indiana. As you are aware, federal, state, and local representatives continue to work together to ensure a beneficial solution is identified in order to remediate the lead and arsenic contamination within this community. We remain encouraged by Administrator Pruitt’s focus on Northwest Indiana and look forward to collaborating with the Administrator and yourself to approach other potential partnerships within this industrial area.

The recently proposed Statement of Basis for the DuPont industrial area in East Chicago is an example of such efforts. We welcome the EPA’s focus on cleaning this site, exemplified by the proposed Statement of Basis. Members of the community, however, raised concerns to our attention in response to the public comment timeframe and their limited access to supplemental materials relating to the Statement of Basis.

As the EPA works to develop and implement this plan, we urge you to continue to coordinate and communicate with interested stakeholders, local officials, and members of the East Chicago community. To that end, we respectfully request that the EPA consider the East Chicago Calumet Coalition Community Advisory Group’s request to extend the deadline for the public comment period to allow for the opportunity to review the proposed Statement of Basis and submit detailed comments.

Thank you for your continued support to address legacy issues throughout Northwest Indiana. We look forward to working with you this year.