Hammond Residents Raise More Questions After Mysterious Deaths Of Birds, Waterfowl Near Wolf Lake

Neighbors in Northwest Indiana are asking for more transparency about the environment after dozens of mysterious bird and waterfowl deaths in the area. CBS 2's Marissa Parra reports.

Video Transcript

MARISSA PARRA: CBS 2 is Chicago's investigative station. And today we uncovered--

Weeks after CBS 2's first report on the wildlife deaths in Wolf Lake in the Hammond area, Hammond's Mayor, Thomas McDermott Jr. released a public statement this week saying the city's department of environmental management took water and soil samples along the lake.

According to the release, the findings quote, "met standards, and posed no environmental risk," concluding, in part, quote, "the data gathered by the water testing and soil testing does not point to either as being a cause of death of the waterfowl."

Does that statement, does his release, bring you any peace of mind?

MARISA ROWDEN: Not particularly.

CYNTHIA WALTER: -premature to conclude that. We're not ready to say, all clear for that area.

MARISSA PARRA: Retired biologists, like Cynthia Walter, and local residents, like Marisa Rowden have questions, like how much time passed between when the birds died and when the samples were taken? Walter adds, she also wants to know what the tests wouldn't be able to detect.

CYNTHIA WALTER: Those would have shown some extreme pollution. But again, we don't know where the birds were feeding before they died.

MARISSA PARRA: According to this year's EPA Toxic Release Inventory, according to data collected in 2019, Indiana is at the top when it comes to toxic releases per square mile. For Rowden, who was part of today's protests, she says she'll wait for the results of the necropsy on the birds. But she wants better communication so they don't have to fight for answers.

Don't miss what we uncover next. Watch CBS 2 News.