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Background about the USS Lead Site

The USS Lead Superfund Site is located in East Chicago, Indiana. The site includes part of the former USS Lead facility along with nearby commercial, municipal and residential areas. The site is made up of two areas called “operable units.” Operable Unit 1, or OU1, is a 322-acre residential area bounded by East Chicago Avenue on the north, East 151st Street on the south, the Indiana Harbor Canal on the west and Parrish Avenue on the east. OU2 is the former USS Lead facility on 151st Street. EPA often divides sites into OUs based on how the land was used, in this case residential versus industrial use.

To facilitate negotiations with potentially responsible parties, EPA divided the residential part (OU1) of the USS Lead Superfund Site into three zones:

  • Zone 1: A neighborhood that includes the West Calumet Housing Complex and Carrie Gosch Elementary School
  • Zone 2: The residential area of the Calumet neighborhood located between the West Calumet Housing Complex on the west, the Elgin Joliet and Eastern Railway on the east, E. 151st Street to the south and E. Chicago Avenue to the north.
  • Zone 3: A neighborhood located between the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway Line on the west, Parrish Avenue on the east, East 149th Place to the south and E. Chicago Avenue to the north

The division of OU1 into three zones enabled EPA and the State of Indiana to secure in 2014 an agreement with Atlantic Richfield Co. and E.I. Du Pont De Nemours and Co. to pay 100 percent of the costs incurred to implement the cleanup in Zone 1 and Zone 3. EPA is continuing its efforts to identify additional parties who might be potentially responsible for the cleanup of Zone 2. Once it has concluded these efforts, EPA will engage in negotiations with all known viable and liable parties.