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Report Looks At Serious Environmental Threats And Little Recourse

The Hoosier Environmental Council is releasing a first-of-its kind study on what is being called "environmental injustices" facing northwest Indiana.

The report focuses on Gary, East Chicago and Hammond. 

It is no surprise that the report found the communities have the highest concentration of heavy industrial activity than anywhere else in the state, but it highlights data revealing that local residents live with some of the nation’s worst air quality, highly contaminated waters, as well elevated cancer and asthma rates. 

Kim Ferraro, HEC senior staff attorney and co-author of the report, says many of those surveyed wanted to take action against the environmental threats, but they were unsure who to contact or what to do. And when they did take some action, only one in five reported any success.

“These environmental and public health issues compound the social and economic problems faced by the residents of these mostly-minority populated cities, each of which has a poverty rate that is at least 500% greater than the statewide average,” said Ferraro. “These communities collectively provide an especially powerful example of a nationwide problem, in which poverty begets pollution and pollution begets poverty.”

The full report can be viewed at



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