Hammond Mayor Thomas M. McDermott, Jr. and the Hammond Department of Environmental Management let residents of an area of Robertsdale know this week that the clean-up process of lead contaminated soil will now be accelerated with the city’s help. This project will now begin this year instead of its original timeline of up to a decade from now. The city has teamed up with environmental firm EnviroForensics from Indianapolis to assist and help manage the clean-up process.
In 2017, it was determined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency that a number of properties in the Robertsdale section of Hammond contained levels of lead in the soil as a result of a nearby metals processor that operated decades ago. The USEPA cleaned up a few properties in the area containing high levels of lead. Several more properties were determined to have lower levels, but still in the range where remediation should be performed. These properties are the subject of the city’s accelerated clean up efforts.
“We have had several productive conversations with both our state and federal environmental agency partners about this issue. It was apparent to me that the federal and state process for clean up would take years to begin. Instead of waiting, I determined that the City of Hammond should start to undertake the removal and disposal of lead-contaminated soil at those properties and replace it with clean topsoil, lawn, and landscaping,” stated Mayor McDermott. “This will accomplish the remediation in a much shorter time period and will be done entirely at the city’s expense. This was too important of an issue to wait,” said the mayor.
Hammond’s environmental consultant EnviroForensics and a contractor will manage the project and work to remove the lead-contaminated soil and restore approximately 14 properties this Fall. The owners of these properties have been recently notified and are receiving information about the clean up. When the remediation is completed, Hammond will certify the property is clean and safe. Property owners will then have a certificate to show to future interested persons that their property meets environmental standards.
The project will continue over the next two to three years until all properties are clean and remediated. “This process will result in a faster clean up for our residents and will ensure proper procedures are followed so that a certificate of remediation can be issued by our department,” said long-time Hammond Department of Environmental Management Director Ron Novak.
For more information please contact Sharon Szany at Mayor McDermott’s office at (219) 853-6302 or firstname.lastname@example.org.