USX Corp., the largest steel maker in the U.S., has agreed to settle federal and state environmental claims for illegally discharging waste water from its Gary, Ind., plant into the Grand Calumet River, announced U.S. Department of Justice, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Interior, and the State of Indiana.
USX will pay $30 million to remove and dispose of nearly 700,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment from five miles of the river, $22 million on future pollution abatement, and a $2.9 million civil penalty.
Violating both the Clean Water Act and a 1990 federal consent decree since 1992, USX's Gary facility plant discharged wastewater contaminated with PCB's, heavy metals (such as iron, lead, zinc, cadmium, and chromium), oil and grease, benzene, polycyclic, aromatic hydrocarbons, and cyanide.
"The cleanup of this stretch of the Grand Calumet River will be a crucial step in the revitalization of the river corridor," says David A. Ullrich, acting EPA regional administrator. "It will result in cleaner water, healthier fish, and a visibly improved environment for the people of Gary and all those who enjoy Lake Michigan."