Thursday, October 28, 2021

Indiana beach closed after apparent US steel plant spill

PORTAGE, Ind.—Indiana Dunes National Park closed its beaches and a northwest Indiana water utility closed an intake facility after an orange material spilled from a US steel plant into a tributary of Lake Michigan Yes, a mayor said.

Portage Mayor Sue Lynch said she began receiving calls at around 5:50 p.m. Sunday that an unidentified substance appeared in water near the outfall of the US Steel Midwest plant in Portage and then about 30 miles along the Burns Waterway to Lake Michigan. traveled a distance. east of Chicago.

“Now it’s from the width of the channel to the mouth of the ditch, in an open area,” Lynch said Sunday evening.

A message seeking comment from US Steel was left by the Associated Press on Monday morning.

Lynch told The (Northwest Indiana) Times that he was not sure what the substance might have been, but that an employee at Portage Marina had collected a sample for analysis.

A spokesman for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management said late Sunday that the state agency is investigating.

Indiana Dunes National Park said it closed the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk and all of its beaches as of Sunday unless out of an abundance of caution notices.

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Indiana American Water said it also closed its Ogden Dunes treatment facility around 9:30 p.m. Sunday as a precaution. Indiana American conducted continuous real-time testing at the facility and saw no effect on “raw water parameters,” the utility said in a news release.

The Ogden Dunes plant was expected to remain offline until additional data and water samples showed there was no threat to the company’s water source.

The apparent spill at a US Steel Midwest plant comes weeks after a federal judge approved a revised agreement with the company, more than four years after the Portage plant released wastewater containing the potentially carcinogenic chemical into Burns Waterway.

US Steel agreed to pay a $601,242 civil penalty and more than $625,000 to reimburse various agencies for costs associated with its response in April 2017, when the plant sold 300 pounds of hexavalent chromium—or under state permitting laws. 584 times the permissible daily maximum limit.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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