Grand Calumet River/Indiana Harbor Canal

State TrusteeState of Indiana
Federal TrusteeDepartment of Commerce
AO Bureau

Also Known As

Incident Type




Case Status



Grand Calumet River


Contaminants of Concern Include

Affected DOI Resources Include

DOI Managed Lands, Migratory Birds

Case Description

The Grand Calumet River, originating in the east end of Gary, Indiana, flows 13 miles through the heavily industrialized cities of Gary, East Chicago and Hammond. The majority of the river's flow drains into Lake Michigan via the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal, sending about one billion gallons of water into the lake per day.

The area begins 15 miles south of downtown Chicago and includes the east branch of the river, a small segment of the west branch, and the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal. Today, 90 percent of the river's flow originates as municipal and industrial effluent, cooling and process water, and storm water overflows. Although discharges have been reduced, a number of contaminants continue to impair the area.

The largest extent of the impairment comes from legacy pollutants found in the sediments at the bottom of the Grand Calumet River and Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal. Contaminants include PCBs, PAHs, and heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, chromium and lead. High fecal coliform bacteria levels, biochemical oxygen demand, suspended solids, and oil and grease create additional problems. These pollutants originated from both point and nonpoint sources. Nonpoint sources include 5 to 10 million yards of contaminated sediment, industrial waste site runoff, CERCLA sites (five of which are on Superfund's National Priority List), RCRA hazardous waste sites, underground storage tanks, atmospheric deposition, urban runoff and contaminated groundwater. Point sources are limited to industrial and municipal wastewater discharges and combined sewer overflows.
 Document TypeDocument NameDocument Date


 Factsheet Fact Sheet 09/11/2001


 Assessment Plan Assessment Plan 10/01/1997
 Assessment Plan Assessment Plan (addendum 1) 09/01/1998
 PAS Form Preassessment Screen 06/28/1996
 Restoration Plan Restoration Alternative Development and Evaluation 02/27/2002
 Restoration Plan Restoration Alternatives 12/01/2000
 RCDP Restoration and Compensation Determination Plan 06/01/2004


 Consent Decree Consent Decree (ARCO appendix) 01/31/2005
 Consent Decree Consent Decree (ARCO) 01/31/2005
 Settlement Agreement Settlement Agreement (LTV Steel) 07/01/2003


 Study Report Assessment Plan Sediment Injury 10/01/2000
 Study Report Fishery Resources Injury Vol. 1 01/02/2003
 Study Report Fishery Resources Injury Vol. 2 02/02/2003

No publications have been entered for this case.

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Case Contact

Bloomington Ecological Services Field Office

Bloomington, IN | (812) 334-4261 |

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