Lake Michigan

The state says ArcelorMittal failed to notify the public soon enough about problems that led to a cyanide and ammonia spill in a Lake Michigan tributary. That’s according to an investigative report by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. 

The country’s newest national park isn’t like many of the others — it’s surrounded by some of the largest industrial companies in the U.S. While Indiana Dunes’ new designation has drawn national attention, so have recent industrial spills in nearby Lake Michigan waterways.

But will the park’s designation pressure industrial companies to clean up their act? 

Galina Ovtcharova & Alexei Ovtcharov / Fotki

U.S. Steel had yet another oil leak on Friday. An official with the northwest Indiana company says it found a “light, intermittent oil sheen” near one of its pipes that discharges into Lake Michigan waterways. 

This comes just weeks after another leak from U.S. Steel and a chemical spill from ArcelorMittal that killed 3,000 fish. Residents and environmentalists are hoping this won’t become “the new normal.” 

Legislators Discuss Money For Beach Erosion Study

Aug 8, 2019

UPDATE: At the state agriculture and natural resources committee meeting, legislators recommended that the state find the money for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study into solutions to Lake Michigan beach erosion. There’s no telling whether the governor and the state budget committee will act upon that recommendation. 

Almost every Lake Michigan beach that was tested in Indiana last year had at least one day where high bacteria levels could have threatened swimmers’ health. That’s according to a national report on beach water quality by Environment America. 

While state and federal agencies are trying to stop Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes, there’s evidence that one type is already reproducing in Lake Erie. If they become established, there’s concern that the invasive fish could spread to other lakes — including Lake Michigan.

Two state Senate bills that help define the boundaries of Lake Michigan’s shoreline passed in committee Monday. This comes in the same week the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether to hear a dispute over Lake Michigan beach access. 

Indiana’s ports move millions of tons each year of the stuff that’s made and used at Midwest factories, including steel, grains and coal. The three ports – one on Lake Michigan and two on the Ohio River – connect Indiana to the national and global economies, and each has to find its own ways to keep up with change.

For the first part of a three-part series, we visited the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor to see how it’s secured its place in the steel industry.

Ownership of beach property on Lake Michigan is in the balance in a lawsuit heard before the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday. The case centers on the question of public versus private property, and it could have far-reaching consequences.

Josh Mogerman / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jmogs/14142287984

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management is considering a penalty against BP's large refinery in the Lake County town of Whiting.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management could fine BP up to $25,000 for each of the three violations. 

The BP Whiting Refinery operates along the shore of Lake Michigan. The refinery is permitted to discharge up to 5,700 pounds of wastewater pollutants into the lake every day. The pollution is a combination of scum, debris, and wastewater from normal refining operations.

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