Chesterton Tribune

IDEM issues new wastewater permit to US Steel Gary Works

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The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) has issued a wastewater permit for U.S. Steel Gary Works.

“The permit complies with today’s stringent state and federal water quality standards for limiting pollutants and contains monitoring and reporting requirements that will help protect Lake Michigan and the Grand Calumet River,” IDEM said in a statement released on Friday.

The IDEM document was issued in consultation with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and after “thorough consideration of public comments,” IDEM said.

IDEM accepted public comments for 45 days, from October 14 to November 30, 2009, and held a hearing on November 18. “In response to comments on the draft document, IDEM bolstered provisions for storm water control,” IDEM said. “Storm water discharges must be routinely monitored, and the facility must review and take steps to continually improve its storm water control measures on an annual basis.”

Since 1909, U.S. Steel Corporation has operated an integrated steel mill facility in Gary. The wastewater generated at the facility is treated prior to being discharged into Lake Michigan and the Grand Calumet River. The permit for the discharge also addresses non-contact cooling water and storm water run-off.

The final wastewater permit signed on Friday replaces a permit last issued to the facility in 1994 and modified in 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999. Prior draft permit documents were issued for public comment in 2003 and in July of 2007. Following the issuance of the draft permit in 2007, IDEM received comments from the public and U.S. EPA. “Since then, IDEM staff has worked in consultation with U.S. EPA to write a strong permit that is protective of public health and our environment,” IDEM said. “Staff reexamined permit limits, examined new data and made some changes to the draft permit that assure current water quality standards are being met.”

The final permit documents, which include the permit and a technical fact sheet with the agency’s response to public comments (labeled as post public notice addendum), are posted on the IDEM Web site at



Posted 1/25/2010