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U. S. Steel Issues Update on Indiana Plant Incident
Indiana Ag Connection - 04/17/2017

United States Steel Corporationurgh, Pa., issued the following statement to provide further updates relative to the process release at U. S. Steel's Midwest Plant in Portage, Ind., on April 11.

The company's statement follows:

"Overnight and throughout the morning, U. S. Steel continued extensive testing on the repairs made at our Midwest Plant and continues to monitor environmental compliance with all of our systems. Recent sampling has indicated we are in compliance with our water permit limits. We have determined all repairs are safely working as intended. We have developed a controlled and phased approach to a facility restart with extensive input from the participating government agencies."

A controlled restart of operations at the Midwest Plant at this time will allow U. S. Steel and participating government agencies to conduct robust water and soil sampling while Indiana American Water's intake remains closed and access to certain parks and beaches remains restricted."

"U. S. Steel currently expects the controlled, phased and highly monitored restart to begin later today. The process will begin with a line-by-line restart of operations that do not use chromium in their processes. U. S. Steel will be taking samples from the facility every two hours. U. S. Steel and participating government agencies will also be conducting vigorous visual inspections and water quality monitoring at the outfall and in the areas surrounding the outfall. If elevated levels of chromium are detected, all operations will be immediately shutdown. If all non-chromium-involved lines restart successfully and sampling is acceptable, the lines that involve chromium would be restarted in the same controlled, phased, and highly monitored manner."

"Going forward, U. S. Steel and participating government agencies will continue to monitor water at and around the outfall. In addition, U. S. Steel has made enhancements to the parts of the facility where the failure occurred and is reviewing additional measures it can take to allow for earlier detection of future issues."

"U. S. Steel is committed to the safety of our employees, to the communities in which we operate and to protecting the environment."

The Environmental Protection Agency says water sampling in Lake Michigan and a tributary shows no significant discharge of a potentially carcinogenic chemical from a U.S. Steel Corp. wastewater spill in northern Indiana.

The EPA said Friday that sampling results showed no significant trace of the chemical hexavalent chromium in the lake or the tributary called Burns Waterway after the Tuesday spill at U.S. Steel's Midwest Plant in Portage, about 30 miles east of Chicago.

The company says it expects "a controlled, phased and highly monitored restart" to begin Friday at the plant while the EPA and other government agencies closely monitor it and conduct water and soil sampling. The restart will occur while a water company's nearby intake remains closed and access to parks and beaches in the area remains restricted.

A chemical spill from a steel plant in Portage, Ind., which resulted in the closure of several beaches at the Indiana Dunes early this week.

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