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.
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.
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.”
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.