Press Release

Serial Polluter ArcelorMittal’s Toxic One Year Anniversary: Still Polluting

ELPC Lawsuit Against ArcelorMittal for Clean Water Act Violations More Vital than Ever

BURNS HARBOR, Indiana — How does steelmaker ArcelorMittal celebrate its one-year anniversary of discharging so much ammonia and cyanide into the East Branch of the Little Calumet River in early August 2019 that it forced the closure of beaches along Indiana Dunes National Park on the shores of Lake Michigan and killed more than 3,000 fish? It continues to pollute by discharging more ammonia in excess of its permit.

In June and July 2020, ArcelorMittal’s Burns Harbor steel mill exceeded its permit limits on ammonia multiple times, according to ArcelorMittal’s self-reported violations on Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s Virtual File Cabinet. And in both May and June this year, the steel mill’s discharges were analyzed and determined to be chronically toxic — also a violation of its permit limits. Here’s a link to a table created by Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC) of these exceedances.

For those reasons, it is more important than ever that ELPC pushes forward with its lawsuit against the steel manufacturer that was filed last December. ELPC and Hoosier Environmental Council (HEC) filed a Clean Water Act enforcement lawsuit against ArcelorMittal for more than 100 alleged permit violations at the steel mill in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.

“The reappearance of ArcelorMittal’s permit violations this summer demonstrates why the Environmental Law & Policy Center brought the lawsuit in the first place,” said Jeff Hammons, ELPC Staff Attorney. “It is vital that the outcome of our litigation results in a solution to the ongoing problems and monetary fines sufficient to deter future violations.”

“ArcelorMittal must be held fully accountable for its pollution with over 100 Clean Water Act permit violations in the last few years, for the damage to our Great Lakes, and for threatening safe clean water for residents of Northwest Indiana,” said Kiana Courtney, Staff Attorney at ELPC. “A slap on the wrist is not enough to change the steelmaker’s behavior.”

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