Dr. Sherrie Steiner, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Purdue Fort Wayne, studied the data from the IDEM study and came to some different conclusions. In her view, the way in which IDEM conducted their study does not permit a quality assessment of the possible health risks posed by HI&M business activities because there is insufficient information and data to control for wind direction, humidity and temperature, precipitation, business operations, and peak exposure events. For reasons such as these, she concluded that it was premature for IDEM to conclude from the May-August 2020 Study that there are no public health effects of concern from HI&M’s neighborhood operations. Although none of the samples exceed the benchmark limitations used by IDEM, that does not mean that the activities of HI&M are not negatively impacting public health. Mandated safety thresholds do not guarantee public health. In particulate matter, for example, we already know that there are health impacts below the thresholds that are used. Her complete response to the IDEM Report can be found here.
by Eric Evans