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US Steel Lake Michigan Chemical Spill

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According to federal and state officials, U.S. Steel will have to pay over 1.2 million for the discharging of hundreds of pounds of carcinogenic chemicals into a tributary of Lake Michigan. U.S. Steel has since promised to improve steps of its wastewater process to resolve the alleged violations against their plant of the Clean Water Act and Indiana Law. This Pittsburgh based company will testing daily for the most toxic form of chromium in the water at its Midwest Plant in Northwest Indiana. This is in response to the legal action taken by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

In the nearby town of Ogden Dunes operators of their water supply responded by temporarily shutting off its Lake Michigan intake. Chicago conducted emergency testing of its own water supply and shut off access to 4 Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore beeches. The reason so many people are worried about this chemical spill is, because initially U.S. Steel reported that it had dumped 298 of extremely toxic hexavalent chromium through rusted pipes, but then went back and said it was estimated to be 920 pounds of the toxic chromium. This amount of chromium is alarming considering the maximum amount of hexavalent chromium you can dump is 0.51 pounds. The EPA says that hexavalent chromium is used in a variety of industrial processes like steelmaking, dyes, and coal making. U.S. Steel is lucky that this cannot be linked to tainted water supplies, because a case in California that did, it yielded a $333 million-dollar settlement.

Sources:

“U.S. Steel to Pay More than $1.2M in Lake Michigan Chemical Spill Case.” Insurance Journal, 5
Apr. 2018, www.insurancejournal.com/news/midwest/2018/04/05/485479.htm

Hawthorne, Michael. “U.S. Steel to Pay Nearly $900,000 to Settle Lawsuit over Chromium Spill
into Lake Michigan.” Chicagotribune.com, 3 Apr. 2018,

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-met-us-steel-chromium-lake-michigan-setttlement-20180402-story.html

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