Indiana Beaches Forced to Close after Alleged US Steel Plant Spill
20:34 GMT 27.09.2021 (Updated: 13:24 GMT 06.08.2022)
Indiana Dunes National Park said it closed the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk, including all of its beaches, on Sunday, and they will remain closed until further notice.
An unknown orange substance reportedly spilled from a U.S. Steel plant in Indiana into a Lake Michigan tributary Sunday night — forcing many of Indiana's beaches to close, including a water utility plant.
The unknown substance that made its way into Lake Michigan was first being discharged into Burns Waterway, according to executive director Natalie Johnson from Save the Dunes.
Porter Mayor Sue Lynch told local media on Sunday evening that she wasn’t sure what the substance could be, but a sample had been collected for analysis from an employee from the Portage Marina.
U.S. Steel spokeswoman Amanda Malkowski said that the "plant operations at the plant will remain down until the condition is stabilized."
"We will continue to work with regulators and the community and will provide additional updates as they become available," Malkowski added.
State agencies are still investigating what the substance is and what caused the release, according to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM).
U.S. Steel has reportedly agreed to pay about $3 million in recent years for wastewater permit violations dating back to 2013, the Times reported from IDEM and court records.