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.
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: response.epa.gov/USSteelHexavalentChrome