US Steel leaks chemical into Lake Michigan tributary

EPA: US Steel leaks chemical into Lake Michigan tributary

The chemical can potentially cause cancer.

Congressman Fred Upton (R-Michigan) said action must be taken to clean up the spill, calling it "an all-hands-on-deck effort" in a press release.

Elevated levels of a potentially carcinogenic chemical were found in a water sample from Lake Michigan after a nearby wastewater spill this week at a U.S. Steel plant in IN, the Chicago Department of Water Management said. The EPA said none of that chemical was found in Lake Michigan or in water from the water utility that serves the area, according to the Oklahoman.

That's "a level higher than would be expected to be found in raw lake water", the department said in a news release, but it's just a fraction of the Environmental Protection Agency's drinking water standard of 100 parts per billion for all forms of chromium.

The EPA does not have a separate hexavalent chromium standard, but the agency is evaluating health effects data to determine whether a maximum level for hexavalent chromium is needed. All results were below EPA's method detection limit of 1 part per billion.

The EPA has said hexavalent chromium might be carcinogenic if ingested. The chemical in question is called hexavalent chromium, which is used to coat steel to prevent rusting. "Those numbers are calculated by an ingestion model", he said, to account for events such as a person accidentally drinking surface water while swimming.

"The fact that these unsafe chemicals have not reached Chicago's water supply is simply due to good luck, and not good actions by U.S. Steel". It's also unclear how much of the toxic wastewater spilled. We cannot and will not tolerate careless conduct by companies that could threaten the health and safety of our residents", Emanuel said. "U.S.

U.S. Steel said in its statement that a "controlled, phased and highly monitored" restart of the process would begin sometime Friday, allowing the company, the EPA and other agencies to conduct water and soil samples while the beaches and water intake remain closed.

U.S. Steel issued a statement Thursday evening saying it had identified the source of the spill and "has made the necessary repairs".

"We are reviewing a potential restart plan to best serve our customers, employees and the community", the company said.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says the company reported Tuesday that it leaked an unknown amount of wastewater containing hexavalent chromium into Burns Waterway in Portage, Indiana, within 100 yards of the lake. The cause: the malfunction of a "expansion joint" which caused hexavalent chromium-contaminated rinse water to be diverted into the wrong wastewater treatment facility and from there into a Burns Waterway outfall.

Four nearby beaches and Indiana American Water's intake at Ogden Dunes have been closed "out of an abundance of caution" in the wake of the spill, officials said. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.

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