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Superfund Site Report: U.S. SMELTER & LEAD REFINERY INC.
  • Map Locating Superfund Site
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  • Site Description
    Stage of Clean-up: Remedial Assessment Not Begun

    U.S. Smelter and LEAD Refinery, Inc. (USS LEAD) formerly operated on a 79-acre property at 5300 Kennedy Avenue in East Chicago, Lake County, Indiana. The Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad is to the north of the site, the East West Toll Road and the east branch of the Grand Calumet River to the south, Kennedy Avenue to the east, and Indiana Harbor Canal to the west. The area is primarily industrial. From about 1906 to 1920, a COPPER smelter operated on the property. Starting in 1920, among other activities USS LEAD operated a primary LEAD smelter on 25 acres of the property. In 1973, USS LEAD converted to secondary smelting, recovering LEAD from scrap metal and old automobile batteries. Operations stopped in December 1985. Two waste materials were generated during smelting. The blast furnace slag was piled up south of the plant building; once a year, the pile was leveled off into what was originally a nearby 21-acre wetland, according to the Army Corps of Engineers.  More...
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  • Threats and Contaminants
    Elevated levels of LEAD exist in the blast furnace slag. Substantial amounts of lead-containing dust have permeated the building, contaminating the structure and surrounding soils. According to IDEM, the permit levels for LEAD, CADMIUM, COPPER, ARSENIC and ZINC were exceeded over the years. These permit violations as well as the dumping of blast furnace slag water into wetlands have led to surface water contamination. In addition, air is contaminated with LEAD particles downwind of the site. Lake Michigan, the Grand Calumet River and Indiana Harbor Canal are nearby fishing areas. The Grand Calumet River Natural Area, located a quarter mile southeast of the site, has two endangered species. Hammond Beach Marina is four miles west of where the canal enters Lake Michigan. Lake Michigan, Wahala Beach and several other major recreation areas are within 15 miles of the site. These areas are at risk of contaminant migration.

    Contaminants Detected

    Air Soil Other
    ARSENIC X   
    CADMIUM X   
    COPPER X   
    LEAD XX  
    ZINC X   

    Groundwater and Drinking Water

    Were drinking water wells shut down due to contamination? No data
    Are drinking water wells potentially threatened? No data
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  • Pre-Cleanup Rankings
    EPA Hazard Ranking System scores for U.S. SMELTER & LEAD REFINERY INC.:

    Less Hazard National Average More Hazard
    0%         50%         100%

    Overall site:
    Surface water migration:
    Air migration:

    Rank Superfund sites in the U.S., INDIANA, or in LAKE County by EPA Hazard Ranking Scores.

    *Note: EPA's Hazard Ranking System is designed to screen and prioritize sites for the Superfund program, based on limited data available at time of listing. These scores are not based on a comprehensive risk assessment of the site and do not reflect conditions after initiation of cleanup work.
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  • Site Information
    EPA ID: IND047030226
    Address: 5300 KENNEDY AVE
    EAST CHICAGO, IN 46312
    Site Ownership: Other
    Category of Site: No data
    Date of Proposed Listing on the NPL: February 07, 1992
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  • Potentially Responsible Party (PRP) Involvement
    Number of PRPs currently associated with this site: 0
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