Government shutdown means delayed EPA hearing for Hoosiers displaced by lead contamination

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EAST CHICAGO, Ind. (WTHR) — As the partial government shutdown continues with no real end in site, Americans who aren't federal government workers are starting to feel the effects.

More than a thousand Hoosiers in East Chicago have been waiting on answers from the EPA after contamination the West Calumet Housing Complex forced them from their homes in 2016.

Those people — including 700 children — all had increased levels of lead in their blood. The EPA found some lead levels at the complex to be more than 70 times higher the legal safety standard.

The agency was set to hold public hearing on a cleanup proposal for the area Jan. 10, but that has since been canceled due to the shutdown.

There is no word on when that meeting will take place. The EPA estimates cleanup of the site will cost about $26 million.