Indiana Harbor and Canal
The Indiana Harbor is located in East Chicago, Lake County,
Indiana, on the southwest shore of Lake Michigan, 4-1/2 miles east of
the Indiana-Illinois State line.
Indiana Harbor has an entrance channel and outer harbor, and
an inner harbor, which consists of the Indiana Harbor Canal and its
two branches. The main channel extends from the
E.J. & E. Railway Bridge to the Forks, a distance of 7,400 feet. From the Forks, the Lake George
Branch of the Indiana Harbor extends west for a distance of 6,800 feet,
and the Grand Calumet River Branch extends south for about 2 miles,
where it joins the Grand Calumet River.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (The Corps)
has proposed to carry out dredging of sediments from the Indiana Harbor
and Canal (IHC) to allow its continued use as a navigable waterway. Some of these sediments are contaminated
by toxic chemicals, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycylclic
aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heavy metals. The principal source of sediment
and sediment contamination is due to combined sewer overflows, municipal
and industrial discharge, and urban runoff. Because of the contamination in
the sediments, U.S. EPA has examined, and is continuing to examine,
the environmental impacts of the project, particularly the risks to
people and the environment.
The Corps plans to place the sediments that
are dredged into a confined disposal facility (CDF). The Corps has proposed to build
the CDF on the former Energy Cooperative Industries (ECI) property (see
Figure 1), the site of a former petroleum refinery. The site has “open” status as a
federally permitted facility because it requires further cleanup work.
The Corps sees the CDF as part of the required cleanup activities
on the ECI property.
Residents of northwest Indiana have requested Technical
Outreach Services Communities (TOSC) Program assistance concerning the
dredging of sediments from the IHC and the construction of a confined
disposal facility in East Chicago, Indiana.
Click here for the proposal submitted
by TOSC to the Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO) of U.S. EPA.
TOSC will provide technical assistance to the general public, local
government and other stakeholders on the remediation of contaminated
sediments in the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal (IHC), and in the Grand
Calumet River (GCR), in and near the cities of Hammond, East Chicago
and Gary, IN.
Click here for TOSC
Outreach Brief, which provides a background on the project and a
listing of concerns that have been expressed by community members.
Click here for the TOSC
Dredging Alternatives Report, which represents an independent examination
of key questions and concerns expressed by residents regarding the U.S
Army Corps of Engineers plan to dredge sediments from the Indiana Harbor