PORTAGE, Indiana (AP) – Preliminary tests indicate that iron-contaminated sewage that leaked from a steel plant in northwest Indiana in a tributary of Lake Michigan poses no risk to public health, the Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday.
US Steel Midwest idled the plant in Portage, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) east of Chicago, as a precaution after it said a wastewater treatment facility had experienced “an upset condition “which sent the rust-colored plume containing high levels of lead into the Burns. Waterway on Sunday.
The EPA said it tested surface water samples taken near the plant’s outlet.
Federal and state agencies continued to investigate the cause of the release, possible Clean Water Act compliance issues and environmental impacts, the agency said.
The plant was back up and running on Wednesday, according to The (Northwest Indiana) Times.
Indiana Dunes National Park has also closed all of its beaches as well as the Lakefront and Riverwalk Portage until further notice and Indiana American Water has closed its Ogden Dunes treatment facility, as a precaution.
On Wednesday, the National Park Service announced that the waters of all beaches in Indiana Dunes National Park were reopened.
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