EAST CHICAGO, Ind. (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency is preparing to begin remediation work on nearly 200 properties within a Superfund site affected by an ongoing lead contamination crisis in far northwest Indiana.

The cleanup in East Chicago will be bolstered by $16 million the EPA secured from the parties responsible for the contamination at the 322-acre site. The site includes the city's Calumet neighborhood, where about a thousand people lived in a public housing complex.

The agency announced Monday it was readying to start remediation. EPA officials have said the 192 properties targeted for cleanup have high concentrations of lead and arsenic in the soil.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in a statement that he and Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb agreed it was crucial to protect the well-being of people living on the Superfund site. Pruitt said his agency was "accelerating the cleanup to keep residents safe in their homes and neighborhoods."

Holcomb declared the area a disaster emergency last month, and he signed an executive order on March 10 extending the declaration another 30 days. The state is still reviewing its options to give additional resources to help East Chicago deal with the contamination crisis.

The EPA will also conduct dust testing for lead inside each home as well as thorough cleanings as needed.

The federal agency has also found lead levels exceeding drinking water standards in some East Chicago homes due to inadequate corrosion controls. Holcomb has said the state was working on finding funding for water filters for those homes.

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Information from: The Times, http://www.nwitimes.com