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U.S. Steel Restarts Midwest Plant

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U.S. Steel Corp. has completed a controlled restart of its Midwest Plant in Portage, Ind., following a brief shutdown due to an accidental release of hexavalent chromium into the Burns Waterway that connects to Lake Michigan. Water samples collected by the EPA reportedly showed no significant signs of the potentially carcinogenic chemical.

"The controlled, phased and highly monitored restart at our Midwest Plant, which began on April 14, is now complete. At present, we have encountered no additional issues. All water sampling and visual inspections performed during the restart process at and around the outfall where the process release occurred, within Lake Michigan, including the public water intake, and adjacent shorelines have shown no elevated hexavalent chromium levels,” said a statement from the Pittsburgh-based steelmaker.

Following the incident and investigation, the company began restarting operations that did not use chromium, then went on to the chromium-containing operations.

"We take all incidents very seriously and are fully committed to investigating additional corrective actions we can take to prevent a future occurrence. We remain committed to protecting the environment, to the communities in which we operate and to the safety of our employees,” the statement said.

U.S. Steel’s Midwest Plant provides finishing operations for its Gary Works mill 10 miles west. The facility does finishing on tin mill products, hot-dipped galvanized, cold-rolled and electrical lamination steels.