Update Oct. 5
EPA’s final sample results show the reddish-orange discharge
from the US Steel Midwest Plant outfall was caused by high levels of iron.
EPA’s preliminary sample results also currently indicate that the discharge was
below the numeric effluent discharge limits contained in US Steel’s NPDES permit.
Federal and state agencies continue to investigate the
matter to determine the cause of the discharge and possible Clean Water Act
compliance issues, as well as environmental impacts and further actions that
are necessary to ensure future compliance.
At the request of EPA, the Agency for Toxic Substances and
Disease Registry evaluated sample results for surface water near the US Steel
outfall. Their review does not indicate any health risks from the discharge for
people who may come into direct contact with the water along the Portage River
On September 26, 2021 EPA received NRC reports from both a private citizen and
from the City of Portage, Indiana indicating that an orange material appears to
be coming out of the north outfall (outfall 0040 to Burns Ditch/ Burns Waterway Harbor from
US Steel’s Midwest Plant located
at 6290 US-12, Portage, Porter County, IN 46368. The orange material flowed into Burns Ditch/ Waterway and into Lake Michigan. USEPA mobilized to the facility with START support to investigate the incident. Response efforts were coordinated with the USCG and IDEM personnel.