Washington, D.C. – During a phone call today, U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly received a commitment from Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson to visit the contaminated USS Lead Superfund site and West Calumet Housing Complex in East Chicago, Indiana. The commitment follows last month's invitation for a visit from Donnelly, Senator Young, and Congressman Visclosky. Earlier this week, Donnelly, Young, Visclosky and Governor Eric Holcomb announced that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt will visit the site on April 19.
Further details on the timing and specifics of Secretary Carson’s visit will come at a future date.
Donnelly said, “I was pleased to receive an assurance from Secretary Carson that he intends to visit East Chicago to hear directly from the families whose lives have been uprooted and put at risk due to the lead contamination of the West Calumet Housing Complex. As I’ve said before, the federal government has a responsibility to help provide a long-term solution that ensures the health and safety of the more than 300 families that recently lived in the complex. Secretary Carson’s visit will provide first-hand insight and help him understand the housing needs of those impacted.”
Donnelly and his staff have been in regular contact with local, state, and federal officials, including HUD and EPA, both on the ground and in their regional and national offices. In January, Donnelly received a commitment from Dr. Carson in his confirmation hearing to keep East Chicago as a priority once confirmed as HUD Secretary. Donnelly has also requested increased funding for HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes.