Chesterton Tribune



Water company closes Ogden Dunes facility after USS reports sheen in Burns Waterway

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For the second time in less than a month, Indiana American Water Company (IAWC) has taken its Ogden Dunes pumping/treatment facility out of service, after what IAWC termed a “chemical spill” occurred in Burns Ditch at a U.S. Steel Corporation outfall on Friday.

U.S. Steel, for its own part, reported “a light intermittent oil sheen” at one of its Midwest Plant’s outfalls at mid-afternoon on Friday.

“We promptly notified the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), Environmental Protection Agency, National Response Center, and National Park Service, and U.S. Coast Guard,” U.S. Steel said. “While the source of the sheen has not yet been determined, we are taking containment measures and we are working with IDEM to investigate this matter further. We will provide updates as they are available.”

This morning a U.S. Steel spokesperson told the Chesterton Tribune that she could “confirm the sheen stopped on Friday evening.” The spokesperson was expecting to release a further update later today.

IAWC, meanwhile, issued this statement today: “As a precautionary measure, Indiana American Water shut down its Ogden Dunes treatment facility late Friday afternoon, Sept. 6, after being notified by representatives of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management of a chemical spill into Burns Ditch at a U.S. Steel facility in Portage.”

“Indiana American Water performs continuous real-time monitoring at our Ogden Dunes treatment facility, and although we have seen no impact on the raw water parameters we are monitoring for at this location or on our finished water quality, the Ogden Dunes facility will remain offline until such time as additional data and water testing results confirm there is no threat to the company’s water source at this location,” IAWC said.

A similar incident occurred on Aug. 20, when U.S. Steel reported a “discoloration” in the Burns Waterway near one of its Midwest Plant outfalls. IDEM at the time called it a “reported oil release.” And IAWC, referring to it as a “chemical spill,” closed the Ogden Dunes treatment facility, returning it to service three days later, on Aug. 23.

Neither IDEM nor U.S. Steel ever identified the substance seen in the water on Aug. 20.



Posted 9/9/2019




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