The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) confirmed that the orange-colored discharge that can be seen in Lake Michigan and along the Indiana Dunes Beaches came from a U.S. Steel plant. The discoloration was caused by high levels of iron in the water.
However, it has been assessed that there are no major health risks to anyone who comes into contact with the lake’s water despite the obvious discoloration. The concentration of iron is also within the limits that are indicated in the U.S. Steel’s permit to operate.
The discharge has started to dissipate so the EPA reopened the Indiana Dunes Beaches to the public.
Environment activists were not convinced and called for more in-depth scrutiny and investigation following the discharge and discoloration. It can be noted that weeks before, federal costs approved a decree that required U.S. Steel to pay a $600,000 penalty related to 2017 similar spill.
The EPA made a statement that the federal and state agencies will continue to investigate the recent incident and determine possible non-compliance of the U.S. Steel with the Clean Water Act.