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GLIN==> Indiana Called on to Tighten U.S. Steel?s Pollution Allowances

Title: Indiana Called on to Tighten U.S. Steel?s Pollution Allowances

Alliance for the Great Lakes

Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2007
Contact: Lyman Welch 312-939-0838

Indiana Called on to Tighten U.S. Steel’s Pollution Allowances

Commenting on U.S. Steel’s request to renew an Indiana discharge permit, the Alliance for the Great Lakes is calling on regulators to tighten the discharge limits to eliminate pollution to Lake Michigan over time, in keeping with the federal Clean Water Act.

In comments submitted to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management on Monday, the Alliance urged that U.S. Steel’s Gary Works facility “rapidly move into compliance with stricter water quality standards.”

Noting that capital improvements by the plant in recent years are making a difference, pollution discharges from the Gary Works plant persist nonetheless, the Alliance wrote.

“USS can no longer benefit from outdated wastewater standards to the detriment of water quality, human health and aquatic life,” the comments state. “We also cannot allow its production activities to impede the region’s progress and investments with respect to environmental remediation and restoration along the Grand Calumet River and Lake Michigan shoreline.”

Specifically, the Alliance urges IDEM to ensure that the permit:

* Eliminates the “five-year pass” compliance schedule U.S. Steel proposes for several pollutants, including mercury -- and instead include interim requirements and specific pollution discharge limits.

* Requires substantial reductions in the discharge of free cyanide oil, grease, and thermal pollution to the Grand Calumet River.

* Reduces storm water runoff, which contains unknown quantities of pollution, to Lake Michigan.

The Alliance’s comments were prepared by a panel of experts, including Tina Rongers of the Alliance board,  and advisor Jim Filippini, a retired member of the U.S. EPA’s Region 5 Water Division staff.

Susan Campbell
Communications Manager
Alliance for the Great Lakes

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