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Mark Your Calendars for the Next Grand Calumet Restoration Open House

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) and partner organizations encourage those living or working in Hammond, Whiting, East Chicago, and Gary to attend a free open house-style event focused on restoration efforts within the Grand Calumet River Area of Concern (AOC).

Details of the meeting are as follows:

  • WHAT: Public open house for restoration efforts within the Grand Calumet River Area of Concern (AOC)
  • WHEN: Thursday, September 28 from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. CDT
  • WHERE: Gibson Woods Nature Preserve: 6201 Parrish Ave, Hammond, Indiana

IDEM and its partners encourage community members to come anytime during the open house to talk with project and program staff, ask questions about the project work, and share their perspectives on the work and their visions for the waterways.

There will also be food and refreshments and activities for kids. Guided hikes of Gibson Woods will take place at 3:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., and 5:30 p.m.

About the CARE Committee:

The Citizens Advisory for the Remediation of the Environment (CARE) plays an active role in advising IDEM on the removal of the 12 remaining Beneficial Use Impairments(BUIs) that apply to the AOC. The committee is comprised of representatives from municipalities, local organizations, industries, and agencies who are dedicated to improving the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the area’s ecosystem. IDEM benefits greatly from the technical and historical expertise of CARE members.

Committee members are appointed by the IDEM commissioner and meet regularly to provide input to IDEM on the criteria (removal targets) and the tasks (management actions) necessary to remove the remaining BUIs and delist the AOC. CARE also educates the public about its progress and the status of BUI removal activity in the AOC. Recent examples of CARE education and outreach have included Public Learning Events and AOC Seminars.

Current CARE Members:

CARE members are designated to serve on the committee by the IDEM commissioner. In addition, staff from several federal and state agencies actively participate in Remedial Action Planning (RAP) activities pertinent to CARE’s mission. These agency staff provide critical technical support and advice to the committee but are not designated by the IDEM commissioner. Current designated members of the committee are:

  • Indiana Department of Environmental Management:
    • Michael Spinar (CARE Co-chair)
  • Citizens Advisory for the Remediation of the Environment:
    • John Fekete (CARE Co-chair)
  • Cleveland Cliffs, Indiana Harbor:
    • Tom Barnett
    • Mariya Trenkinshu
  • City of East Chicago:
    • Fernando Treviño
  • City of Gary:
    • Brenda Scott-Henry
  • Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant:
    • Leslie Dorworth
  • Indiana University Northwest:
    • Peter G. Avis
  • The Nature Conservancy:
    • Joel Perez-Castaneda
    • Susan MiHalo
  • NiSource:
    • Steve Barker
  • Northwest Indiana Forum:
    • Kay Nelson
  • Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission:
    • Jennifer Birchfield
  • Northwest Indiana Urban Waters Federal Partnership:
    • Victoria Wittig
  • Purdue University Northwest:
    • Dr. Stephen Turner
  • Save the Dunes Conservation Fund:
    • Betsy Maher

Grand Calumet River AOC Overview Presentation

IDEM and the Citizens Advisory for the Remediation of the Environment (CARE) have developed an overview presentation [PDF] of the Grand Calumet River / Indiana Harbor Ship Canal Area of Concern (AOC) and the Remedial Action Plan (RAP) for the AOC. Hoosiers wishing to provide suggestions for how to improve the presentation are encouraged to contact IDEM.

CARE Public Information Sessions:

The CARE Committee has had a long history of having public informational meetings to share the work being done to make progress towards delisting the AOC. For several years that took the form of evening information sessions quarterly. This then evolved to an annual CARE seminar from 2013-2017 and were half and full day events respectively that were full, day-long public events. Most recently, public learning events have been held again throughout the year. These meetings are to provide updates on the development and status of various projects that support the removal of the remaining BUIs and ultimately delist the Grand Calumet River as an Area of Concern in the Great Lakes. Members of the public are also given an opportunity to ask questions about projects and provide feedback to the CARE Committee at these events. IDEM publicizes the public learning sessions through our website, social media (Facebook and Twitter), local media, and other outlets.

Presentations from some of the more recent public learning sessions:

CARE Workgroup Meetings:

The CARE Committee holds technical workgroup meetings to   advise IDEM regarding BUI removal targets and   projects that support the removal of the remaining BUIs to delist the AOC, in accordance with the RAP.

Summaries of previous meetings are provided below for public review. None of these meetings are designed to be formal public hearings or meetings for any agency regulatory action and comments made by the public during this process are only informative for the RAP process and CARE.

How to Sign Up for CARE Updates:

Interested parties may register for CARE updates via text or email by using the State of Indiana’s GovDelivery service. Users may access this service while on this webpage by clicking the envelope icon under the Social Links portion of the navigation bar. The CARE subscription topic is found at the bottom of the IDEM Quick Subscribe page.

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