Aug 03, 2018

U.S. Steel's Wastewater Management Plan Faces Opposition

Two conservation groups have called for the rejection of the steel company’s revised wastewater plan following a series of spills

U.S. Steel faces backlash over revised wastewater management plan
U.S. Steel faces backlash over revised wastewater management plan

The National Parks Conservation Assn. (NPCA) and the Hoosier Environmental Council have urged the U.S. EPA to reject U.S. Steel’s revised wastewater operations and maintenance plan as well as their revised wastewater design plan. Additionally, the two organizations have asked that EPA provides a comment period on any future plans submitted by the steel company which operates out of Gary and Portage, Ind., as reported by the Northwest Indiana Times.

The groups argue that the proposed plan, released April 13, does not extensively address wastewater management plans and responses to potential future spills. EPA already issued a partial disapproval of the plans in a May 30 letter which cited lack of references to standard operating procedures to avoid or minimize spills; lack of lists of procedures for lab and field monitoring instruments; and lack of detail regarding operational and maintenance tasks.

“U.S. Steel has failed to make changes in response to the concerns raised by EPA and the public, which suggests U.S. Steel isn’t taking this seriously,” said Colin Deverell, Midwest program manager for NPCA. “That’s deeply concerning for clean water at Indiana Dunes and the neighboring communities.”

U.S. Steel was tasked with revising their wastewater management plans following a wastewater spill April 11, 2017, which released toxic chromium into a Lake Michigan tributary, forced Indiana American Water to shut down its Ogden Dunes drinking water intake and caused the closure of four beaches at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.