Press Release

NAACP Environmental Discussion to Focus on Toxic Contamination of East Chicago’s Water Supply

April 18, 2017

EPA ADMINISTRATOR SCOTT PRUITT SCHEDULED TO VISIT INDIANA CITY FACING LEAD CONTAMINATED WATER-SUPPLY PROBLEMS SIMILAR TO FLINT MICHIGAN, RESIDENT DISPLACEMENT, AND RELOCATION ISSUES

East Chicago, IN—The NAACP along with the Indiana State NAACP and the Twin City Ministerial Alliance will hold a roundtable discussion to discuss the pending environmental crisis facing residents of the Calumet and West Calumet communities.

In February, current Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb declared East Chicago a disaster area, due to dangerous environmental issues emerging from the U.S.S. Lead Superfund site. Despite the Indiana city facing lead infected water supply issues like Flint, Michigan, former Governor, and current Vice-President Mike Pence, had denied naming the location a disaster area.

Some of the issues facing the city, including a 40-year history of lead contamination are the displacement of entire communities, dispensing of water filters, arsenic contamination, toxic dumping and loss of property value, local churches have lost an estimated 30% of their congregations. 

On Tuesday, NAACP President and CEO, Cornell William Brooks will address the NAACP’s demand for justice for those communities impacted by the environmental crisis.

In the most advance and wealthiest nation in the world, the failure to ensure a healthy environment or simply clean drinking water for communities of color, cannot and will not be tolerated,” said NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks.

“Judge Lani Guinier once said that African Americans serve as the canaries in the mine, yet today we are seeing that those mines exist in our communities where toxic poisons are ignored, only because they have yet to reach the rest of America. How long can our leaders assume their communities will continue to be safe from those same poisons,” he emphasized.

On Wed., the NAACP will join with the Indiana State NAACP and Twin City Ministerial Alliance to hold a roundtable discussion on environmental justice. During this event, they plan to release the East Chicago Toxic Crisis Report, which includes findings from a community listening session facilitated by the NAACP on April 5th,2017 and co-hosted by Twin City Ministerial Alliance. US Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt is invited to this event along with state and national NAACP members including Jacqui Patterson, Director of the NAACP Climate and Environmental Justice and Denise Abdul-Rahman, state director of the Indiana State NAACP Climate and Environmental Justice Program.

NAACP EVENTS THIS WEEK IN EAST CHICAGO

TUESDAY, APRIL 18 

NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks
Message to the Calumet/West Calumet East Chicago Residents
Date:  Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Time:  7:00 pm
Where:  Friendship Baptist Church
4756 Melville Avenue
East Chicago, IN  46312

 

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE ROUNDTABLE II

Date:  Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Time:  Doors Open at 8:00 am Continental Breakfast
Press Conference:  10:30 am CST
Where:  First Baptist Church
4911 McCook Avenue
East Chicago, IN 46312

INVITED & EXPECTED ATTENDEES:  

US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt

Jacqueline Patterson, Director, NAACP Environmental & Climate Justice Program

Senator Joe Donnelly

Senator Todd Young

Congressman Peter Visclosky

Mayor Anthony Copeland

Residents

Faith Leaders

Organizers

 

Media Contacts:

Twin City Ministerial Alliance

VP Reverend Douglas Sloss, Vice President and Pastor of First Baptist Church

NAACP Indiana State Conference

Barbara Bolling-Williams, ESQ., President, and National NAACP Board of Directors
(219) 614-4889 barbarabolling@aol.com

 Denise Abdul-Rahman, BS. MBA, HCM, HIS, (Primary Media Contact on the ground)Environmental & Climate Justice Chair (317) 331-0815 inecjnaacp@att.net