East Chicago officials say they need $56M to deal with ongoing lead crisis

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A sign displayed in a front yard request that residents keep fro playing in the dirt or mulch at the West Calumet Housing Complex on September 4, 2016 in East Chicago, Indiana. The soil at the complex has been found to contain high levels of lead and arsenic putting all residents in danger if exposed to the elements. Over 1,000 residents are being asked by the East Chicago Housing Authority to relocate, after plans were decided to demolish the housing complex. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

EAST CHICAGO, Ind. — East Chicago officials estimate the city needs at least $56 million to deal with its ongoing lead contamination crisis.

Mayor Anthony Copeland submitted an inventory on Friday to Gov. Eric Holcomb about the resources needed to address the contamination in the Calumet neighborhood, which is within a Superfund site.

The assessment outlines what funding is needed to support the city under a disaster declaration the governor signed last month.

The city’s report prioritizes the need to provide safe water for residents. It asks for nearly $500,000 for water filters and $40 million to begin replacing underground lead water pipelines.

Other top priorities include independent water testing, money for additional blood-lead level testing, and resources to test water in homes.

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