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GLIN==> EPA Sets Hearing Date for Disputed U.S. Steel Pollution Permit



Title: EPA Sets Hearing Date for Disputed U.S. Steel Pollution Permit

Alliance for the Great Lakes
For Immediate Release


EPA Sets Hearing Date for Disputed U.S. Steel Pollution Permit

The U.S. EPA has scheduled a public hearing on Dec. 11 in Gary, Ind., to hear objections to a draft water pollution discharge permit issued to U.S. Steel Corp.’s Gary Works plant.

Scheduled from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., and 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., the hearing will be held at Indiana University Northwest’s Savannah Auditorium, located at 3400 Broadway Ave.

The EPA is convening the hearing in response to requests from environmental groups, the public and public officials, who cited objections to the draft permit issued by Indiana’s Department of Environmental Management.

If finalized, the permit would allow the Gary Works facility -- the largest fully integrated steel mill in the country -- to discharge into Lake Michigan, the Grand Calumet River and Stockton Pond.

The Alliance for the Great Lakes and others calling for the hearing voiced concern that, among other things, the permit grants U.S. Steel five more years to comply with federal water quality standards.

In comments submitted  to IDEM in October, the Alliance called on state regulators to tighten the Gary Works plant’s discharge limits as a means of eliminating pollution to Lake Michigan over time, in keeping with the federal Clean Water Act.

The Alliance also called on the agency to eliminate the so-called five-year pass compliance schedule U.S. Steel proposes for mercury and several other pollutants, and to instead include interim requirements and specific pollution discharge limits. Furthermore, the Alliance urged that the plant be required to make substantial reductions in its discharges of free cyanide oil, grease, and thermal pollution to the Grand Calumet River.

Written and oral comments will be accepted at the Gary hearing following a brief presentation by the EPA.

Comments may also be submitted in writing between Nov. 9 and Dec. 28 to:
David Soong, EPA Region 5, NPDES Programs Branch (WN-16J), 77 W. Jackson
Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604. Comments may be submitted online to EPA’s
Web site at www.epa.gov/region5/publiccomment, or faxed to 312-886-0168.

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Susan Campbell
Communications Manager
Alliance for the Great Lakes

Visit http://www.greatlakes.org