In East Chicago, Indiana, authorities built a public housing project on land once occupied by a lead smelting operation. The area has been declared a Superfund site, and residents of the housing project, but not the surrounding area, have been moved. After we produced this episode of our podcast, the housing project was torn down.
revelations have continued about inaccurate and misleading information provided to community residents by officials, who hid the health impact of the buried lead in their neighborhood.Nevertheless, in the summer of 2018,
(photo: Calumet Lives Matter president Sherry Hunter, left, sports her group's signature shirt at the independent Community Strategy Group's Calumet Day table with Rev. Cheryl Rivera. Photo credit: Annie Ropeik for Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations.
Annie Ropeik and Nick Janzen followed this story for two years when they worked together at Indiana Public Broadcasting, and were part of a team that won several awards for its coverage.
Here's the first episode of Living Downstream: the Environmental Justice Podcast. Subscribe on iTunes, or wherever you get your podcasts (coming soon!)
Read more about Annie Ropeik and Nick Janzen.
Read a 2011 report (PDF) from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services about the lead smelting operation in East Chicago and the contamination left behind.
Below: watch a discussion between East Calumet resident Akeeshea Daniels and reporter Annie Ropeik from the project "Blood Lead and Soil: A Year in East Chicago" produced by Indiana Public Broadcasting.