PORTAGE, Ind. (WWJ/AP) – Federal officials are awaiting more test results to determine whether a potentially carcinogenic chemical entered Lake Michigan during a wastewater spill at a U.S. Steel plant in northern Indiana.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency spokeswoman Rachel Bassler says testing Tuesday and Wednesday found no hexavalent chromium in the lake near the spill site in Portage, Indiana, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) east of Chicago.
She says preliminary results are expected Thursday on about 100 additional water samples.
Tuesday’s spill caused by a pipe failure allowed wastewater containing hexavalent chromium from an electroplating process to enter a tributary 100 yards (90 meters) from Lake Michigan.
A water utility stopped drawing lake water and three beaches at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and one in adjacent Ogden Dunes remain closed as a precaution.
In 2016, U.S. Steel cut the jobs of about 25 percent of its non-union workforce — the steel company, has been struggling with the impact of falling oil prices, increased imports from China and other factors that have hurt demand and lowered steel prices.
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