As East Chicago Wades Through Lead Fallout, Enviro Groups Sue The EPA

Sep 6, 2016

The Sierra Club is one of the lead plaintiffs in the suit.
Credit courtesy Sierra Club

Seven environmental health and justice organizations, including the Sierra Club, are suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over what they say are outdated toxicity standards for lead.  

The suit comes as authorities explore just how contaminated the heavy metal has made the soil in East Chicago.

Thinkprogress.org health writer Alex Zelinski says the lawsuit claims the EPA – and not the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- should have kept more accurate records on the alarming rise of health effects of lead on humans. 

She notes the last updated standards were set by the EPA in 2001.

“Many other authorities trust the EPA for these standards – the health departments, local health departments, local housing authorities – schools – these organizations are suing the EPA, saying, hey, you've been kinda lying to us when it come to what's actually dangerous – either get back up to code or explain just why you're so far behind,” she says.

Zielinski says in her article that the inaccurate standards may be to blame for many of the overlooked lead problems in low-income neighborhoods in cities like Baltimore, Flint, Mich. – and East Chicago.