In the course of reporting, the EPA gave me a statistic that it came up with in its recent review - something like one third of its current Superfund sites are within a mile of public housing complexes. And that didn't happen by accident. There have been all sorts of decisions like those in East Chicago that resulted in low income housing, primarily for Black and Brown folks, being in the most dangerous areas, where people are at the most risk of contamination.
Investigative reporter Rebecca Burns surveys the toxic legacy environmental racism and housing discrimination in East Chicago, Indiana - as a public housing complex built over the site of a former lead smelter poisoned generations of people, far beyond the concern of developers and politicians responsible for the site's location.
Rebecca wrote the article On Poisoned Ground: East Chicago’s legacy of lead pollution for The Baffler.