Chesterton Tribune



EPA: Still no chemical found in lake waters; beaches reopened

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Ongoing monitoring of Lake Michigan and Burns Waterway continues to show levels of hexavalent chromium below the Environmental Protection Agency’s detection limit of one part per billion, the EPA reported after deadline on Monday.

On Monday afternoon, meanwhile, the National Park Service re-opened the three beaches closed following last week’s accidental release of the chemical into Burns Waterway from U.S. Steel Corporation’s Midwest Plant in Portage.

“Water and beach sand samples were taken by contractors working for (EPA) from April 12-16, at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore’s West Beach, Cowles Bog Beach, and Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk beach,” the National Park Service said after deadline on Monday. “All EPA water and beach sand samples were below laboratory reporting limits. Based on these results, the three beaches will be re-opened to the public this afternoon.”

NPS did say that it will continue to work with “EPA and other agencies to implement a long-term monitoring protocol to ensure the safety of park visitors throughout the upcoming beach season,” as park staff “remains concerned about potential long-term harm to wildlife and other park resources.”

EPA noted that U.S. Steel resumed full operations at its Midwest Plant on Monday, following a “line-by-line startup” over the weekend monitored by EPA. During that startup, EPA “did not detect any additional hexavalent chromium from the outfall,” EPA said.

For details on the testing results, go to the United States Environmental Protection Agency website at:



Posted 4/18/2017




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