ELPC Press Release
In August 2019, an ammonia and cyanide spill caused by ArcelorMittal’s steel mill in Burns Harbor, Indiana killed 3,000 fish and closed beaches on Lake Michigan and Indiana Dunes National Park. The steel mill did not report this incident, as required by law, until days after local citizens reported dead fish to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
This was not the first time ArcelorMittal put the Great Lakes at risk. This facility has been discharging pollution into the East Arm of the Little Calumet River for years, which flows directly into Lake Michigan, and has violated its Clean Water Act permit over 100 times in the past four years.
We could not stand by and wait for the state and the federal government to act. Because too many people depend on Lake Michigan for recreation and safe drinking water, ELPC and the Hoosier Environmental Council filed a Clean Water Act enforcement lawsuit against ArcelorMittal.
“The reappearance of ArcelorMittal’s permit violations this summer demonstrates why we brought the lawsuit in the first place,” -Jeff Hammons, ELPC Staff Attorney.
One year after ArcelorMittal’s toxic spill, their behavior has not changed. 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. It is more important than ever that ELPC pushes forward with its lawsuit against the steel manufacturer that was filed last December. This facility must be held fully accountable.