The City of Hammond Department of Environmental Management (HDEM) and Hammond Mayor Thomas M. McDermott, Jr., have reviewed the results of the recently gathered X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) Soil Data samples taken by HDEM at the Lost Marsh Golf Course, and around the North Basin of George Lake. The Mayor ordered the soil testing to determine if city property contained dangerously elevated lead and arsenic levels, and if so, were those levels in any way responsible for the recent avian deaths near that location.
The areas sampled included 27 locations near George Lake, the Lost Marsh Golf Course and in and around the bike path located in the George Lake area. The Mayor is pleased to report that the readings obtained at the Lost Marsh Golf Course were well within EPA acceptable residential lead and arsenic levels. There were two lead, and two arsenic readings, taken along the bike path on the north side of George Lake and adjacent to the former Federated Metals site, which were slightly above the EPA screening levels for residential areas, but were well below current EPA levels requiring a removal action. Additional testing will be conducted in closer proximity to the former Federated Metals site to determine if lead levels are elevated and require a removal action.
The EPA considers 1200 mg/kg of lead a quantity calling for an immediate removal action (where sensitive populations are present) while 400 mg/kg and below is considered a level safe for residential areas. The testing results near George Lake show the area is safe for recreation, and these results are far below the 91,100 mg/kg levels discovered in the East Chicago West Calumet Housing Complex area which required residents to vacate the area.
The Mayor and his staff will have an information meeting concerning the testing results and data collection process at Calumet College on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 in Room 200 at 6:30 PM. Concerned citizens are encouraged to attend and speak with the HDEM staff directly. HDEM will continue to perform additional soil testing along the bike trial and will provide the results of that additional testing when complete.