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The Grand Calumet River Restoration Fund (GCRRF) was established by Trust Agreement after settlement with "Industrial Users" in the case "United States of America v. The Sanitary District of Hammond, et al., Civ. Action No. 2:93-CV-225 JM", for the benefit of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), the Deputy Director of IDNR's Bureau of Water and Resource Regulation (IDNR Co-Trustee), and the Assistant Commissioner of IDEM's Office of Environmental Response (IDEM Co-Trustee). The purpose of the Fund, as established in the Trust Agreement is to "...address and correct environmental contamination in the Area of Concern, including particularly the cleanup of contaminated sediment and the remediation and restoration of natural resource damages within the Area of Concern....and, more specifically, in and around the West Branch of the Grand Calumet River in the State of Indiana (the "Hammond Reach")."
The administration of the GCRRF was established by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) among the Commissioner of IDEM; the Director of IDNR; the IDNR Co-Trustee; the IDEM Co-Trustee; the Regional Director of Region 3 of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service; and the Regional Administrator, Region 5, United States Environmental Protection Agency. Each of these "Parties" appointed a representative to serve on a GCRRF Council, the purpose and function of which is to "....coordinate the Parties' activities relating to the GCRRF in order to achieve the maximum environmental benefit." The Council is authorized and directed to:
The GCRRF Council has initiated Restoration Alternatives Development and Evaluation for contaminated sediment cleanup and restoration of natural resources in the West Branch Grand Calumet River. This project was divided into 3 phases: Phase I was to compile historical information on sediment contamination and to identify data gaps necessary for alternatives development (results of this portion of the study are included in Technical Memorandum Restoration Alternatives Development and Evaluation West Branch of the Grand Calumet River Indiana, February 2002); Phase II was initiated to collect samples necessary to fill data gaps identified during Phase I - Roxana Marsh and West Branch Characterization studies were initiated (documents related to each of these studies can be accessed below); and Phase III will be the Development and Evaluation of Alternatives.
The GCRRF Council has attempted to keep the public informed of activities by establishing repositories in both Hammond and East Chicago Libraries and by holding public meetings and/or availability sessions. Presentations made at these meetings can be viewed below.