Department of Environmental Management fails to alert Hoosiers
of risk of PCB contamination Hoosier Talk
In the summer of 2002, it was revealed that residents of
Bedford had been living with soil and water contaminated
with PCBís for nearly 25 years with little or no action
by the state to address the serious problem. The carcinogenic
substance has been leaching into local soil and streams
since the late 1970ís in run-off from a nearby GM plant.
Area residents have been experiencing a myriad of health
problems including cancer and reproductive disorders for
years and yet the state has done nothing but warn them not
to eat fish caught in local waterways (Indianapolis Star
Indiana ranks #2 in dumping untreated sewage into its waterways
Due to outdated storm and sanitary sewage systems in more
than 270 Indiana communities, more than 3.5 billion gallons
of raw sewage have been dumped into our stateís rivers since
1997. Indiana dumps more untreated waste into its waterways
than any other state except for Pennsylvania
(Indianapolis Star 10/13/02). The problem is of particular
concern in Northwest Indiana, where more than 400 million
gallons of untreated sewage overflows were reported.
Much of that waste ends up in local swimming holes and Lake
Michigan. Untold millions would be needed to replace the
outdated combined sewage overflow systems that are causing
this contamination (Hammond Times 7/25/02).
Quality of Air in 2002 worst since 1988
In the summer of 2002, Indiana records abysmal air quality,
its worst in over a decade. Ozone levels exceed the federal
standard for 25 days, compared to just 11 days last year,
with the record high well above the federal standard, cited
The Indianapolis Star (9/11/02). Not only does Indiana not
meet the updated federal ozone standards,only recently has
it come into compliance with the old standards.
State ignores U.S. Clean Water Act
Indiana has failed Hoosier farmers and Hoosier residents
by ignoring the U.S. Clean Water Act. IDEM has never issued
permits to feedlots prior to 1999, (which allows farmers
to discharge pollutants into Indiana waterways), nor did
IDEM inspect the feedlots to enforce the rules of operation.
The permits allow Indiana to keep track of the pollutants
that are dumped into waterways and regulate pollutant levels.
Failure to comply with the Clean Water Act has resulted
in all but 18 waterways in Indiana being declared unswimmable
(Indianapolis Star 9/18/02).
Three Indiana cities among 10 unhealthiest in the nation
A recent study by womenís health magazine Self reveals three
Indiana cities are among the 10 unhealthiest in the nation.
Indianapolis ranks as the second unhealthiest. South Bend
ranked 6th and Gary ranked 10th. The rankings were based
on criteria such as crime rate, air quality and access to
medical care (Self Magazine, MSN News 10/01/02).
White River Fish Kill
The December 1999 contamination of 50 miles of the White
River resulted in 117 tons of dead fish and has cost Indiana
taxpayers over $1.4 million.
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