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The Citizens Advisory for the Remediation of the Environment (CARE) plays an active role in advising IDEM on how to best implement the Remedial Action Plan (RAP) for the Grand Calumet River Area of Concern (AOC). The committee is comprised of members of local organizations, industries, and agencies who are dedicated to addressing the area’s Beneficial Use Impairments (BUIs) and improving the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the area’s ecosystem. Committee members are appointed by the IDEM commissioner.

The CARE Committee’s workgroup meets once a month, typically at IDEM’s Northwest Regional Office, to discuss the criteria (removal targets) and the tasks (management actions) necessary to remove the remaining BUIs and delist the AOC. This constitutes the majority of the work involved in implementing the RAP; however, the committee also educates the public about its progress and the status of the Grand Calumet River.


CARE members are invited to the committee by letter from the commissioner of IDEM. Current members of the committee are:

  • ArcelorMittal:
    • Tom Barnett
    • Mariya Trenkinshu
  • Citizens Advisory for the Remediation of the Environment:
    • John Fekete
  • City of East Chicago:
    • Fernando Treviño
  • City of Gary:
    • Brenda Scott-Henry
  • Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant:
    • Leslie Dorworth
  • Indiana Department of Environmental Management:
    • Michael Spinar
    • Michelle Caldwell
    • Beth Admire
    • Anne Remek
    • Hala Kuss
    • Dav Parry
    • James Bailey
  • Indiana Department of Natural Resources:
    • Deb Backhus
    • Maggie Byrne
    • Emily Stork
    • Carl Wodrich
  • Indiana University Northwest:
    • Peter G. Avis
  • The Nature Conservancy:
    • Paul Labus
  • NiSource:
    • Maureen Turman
  • Northwest Indiana Forum:
    • Kay Nelson
  • Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission:
    • Joe Exl
  • Purdue University Northwest:
    • Dr. Stephen Turner
  • Save the Dunes:
    • Natalie Johnson
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:
    • Kristen Isom
    • John Perrecone
    • Peggy Donnelly
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:
    • Dan Sparks
    • Will Tucker
  • U.S. Geological Survey:
    • Meredith Nevers
    • Murulee Byappanahalli
    • Travis Cole
    • Paul Buszka
  • Urban Waters Federal Partnership:
    • Jennifer Birchfield

Annual Seminar:

The CARE Committee presents an annual Grand Calumet River Area of Concern Seminar to update the public about its accomplishments and discuss related topics. The 2017 Seminar was held on Thursday, October 26 in Gary.

Past Annual Seminar speakers and topics have included:

  • Catie Nigrelli (McCoy) & Nishaat Yunus, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant
    • Area of Concern education within local schools
  • Paul Labus, The Nature Conservancy
    • Habitat restoration and monitoring within the Grand Calumet Area of Concern
  • Dr. Tom Simon, Indiana State University
    • Assessment tools and delisting criteria for beneficial use impairments in the Great Lakes Areas of Concern
  • Dr. Jim Smith, Indiana Department of Environmental Management
    • Grand Calumet River dredging project

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