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Gov. Holcomb Signs Bill to Continue Assistance for Lead-Contaminated Areas in East Chicago
Start Date: 4/20/2017Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 4/20/2017
Entry Description

INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Eric J. Holcomb today signed HEA 1344, which reaffirms and continues the state’s efforts to assist East Chicago families who were negatively affected by lead contamination. The bill was authored by state Rep. Earl Harris, Jr. (D-East Chicago) and sponsored by state Sens. Lonnie Randolph (D-East Chicago) and Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso). It received unanimous support by both chambers of the General Assembly.

“I’m proud of the all-hands-on-deck approach we’ve seen among local, state and federal officials to provide support and assistance to East Chicago residents,” Gov. Holcomb said. “I sign this bill without any hesitation and stand with our partners to continue efforts to meet the needs of these residents.”

Yesterday, Gov. Eric Holcomb joined federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt, Indiana Congressional delegates, East Chicago Mayor Anthony Copeland, Sen. Randolph, Rep. Harris, East Chicago officials and community leaders. Administrator Pruitt toured the site and was briefed on effort to-date as well as the work that remains to help affected residents. It was the administrator’s first visit to a Superfund site since taking on his new role as EPA chief.

HEA 1344 designates contaminated neighborhoods as “areas of special concern” and directs state agencies to continue working with local and federal partners to relocate residents and remove or remediate contaminated soil in the area. Specifically, the act:

  • Encourages the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) to assist the EPA in sampling, excavating and removing contaminated soil
  • Requires the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) to provide assistance to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for resident relocation
  • Requires the state to collect from the EPA reasonable costs incurred by state agencies in providing assistance
  • Requires IDEM to conduct water testing to determine if East Chicago is in compliance with national drinking water standards

This bill goes into effect immediately. Read the full text of HEA 1344 here.

Stay up to date on the state’s ongoing efforts with local and federal partners to assist Hoosiers in the USS Lead Superfund Site by visiting the following website: www.HealthyEastChicago.com

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Contact Information:
Name: Stephanie Wilson
Phone: 317-232-1622
Email: stepwilson@gov.in.gov
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