Lake Michigan

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

Municipalities, parks officials, tourism experts, and environmentalists are asking the state for money to help prevent erosion along some Lake Michigan beaches. That was the topic of a summer study committee Wednesday. 

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.

Nick Janzen

This election year, a wall between Mexico and the United States is causing a stir.

But in northern Indiana, a different kind of wall has been roiling waters.

Along the Lake Michigan shoreline in LaPorte County, groups of residents are battling over the consequences of building sea walls -- which keep water from encroaching on land.

Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Nick Janzen reports the fight may turn on what “private property” actually means.

Lake Michigan Water At Highest Level In 16 Years

May 27, 2016
Ralf Huelsmann/WIki Commons

Lake Michigan’s water level is currently a foot higher than its long-term average of 578.8 feet. Lead forecaster at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Detroit District Lauren Fry points to higher than average rain and snow levels.

“The reason they’re so high really started during 2013 and 2014 when the lakes had above average water supplies,” she says.

With more water entering the lakes, and the same amount of water leaving the lakes, water levels have gone up.

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