U. S. Steel Corporation Consent Decree – April 2018
The settlement agreement, which is memorialized in a consent decree lodged in federal district court in the Northern District of Indiana, requires U. S. Steel to undertake substantial measures to improve its wastewater processing monitoring system at its steel manufacturing and finishing facility, known as the Midwest Plant, in Portage, Indiana.
Under the consent decree, in which the State of Indiana participated as well as the National Park Service and NOAA, U. S. Steel will undertake repairs to its treatment plant pipes and containment trench, whose failures contributed to the April 2017 spill of wastewater containing hexavalent chromium that entered a waterway that flows into Lake Michigan. In a more comprehensive manner, U. S. Steel will:
- develop wastewater operations and maintenance plans and preventive maintenance plans
- design and implement new wastewater process monitoring
- and sample daily for total and hexavalent chromium.
These measures are designed to allow for early detection of conditions that may lead to discharges such as the April 2017 spill and other permit violations, furthering compliance with the Clean Water Act and analogous state laws.
The consent decree requires the company to pay more than $600,000 in civil penalties, and a total of $630,500 in government assessment and response costs and damages incurred as a result of the April 2017 spill.
U. S. Steel will also resolve allegations under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) by implementing a detailed protocol to notify relevant state and local authorities about any future spills from its Portage facility to the ground or water.
The settlement, lodged on April 2, 2018, with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, is subject to a 60-day public comment period following notification in the Federal Register on April 6, 2018 (notice to extend the public comment period from 30 days to 60 days was published on April 18), and final approval by the court. The consent decree and other relevant documents are listed below.
Comments can be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to:
Assistant Attorney General
Washington, D.C. 20044–7611
U.S. Steel Clean Water Act Settlement Resources
- Approval of Revised Enhanced Wastewater Process Monitoring Design (12/28/2018)
- Approval of Wastewater Treatment O&M Manual and Preventive Maintenance Program Plan (12/28/2018)
- U. S. Steel Consent Decree Revised Submittal "Wastewater Treatment O&M Manual and Preventive Maintenance Program Plan" and Supporting Standard Operating Procedures (11/14/2018)
- U. S. Steel Consent Decree Revised Submittal "Enhanced Wastewater Process Monitoring Design" (revised 12/21/2018)
- U.S. Steel Midwest Consent Decree “ Semi-Annual Report” (9/14/2018)
- U. S. Steel Consent Decree Initial Submittal "Enhanced Wastewater Process Monitoring Design" (6/29/2018)
- U. S. Steel Consent Decree Revised Submittal "Wastewater Treatment O&M Manual and Preventive Maintenance Program Plan" (6/26/2018)
- Partial Disapproval of Wastewater Treatment O&M Manual and Preventive Maintenance Program (5/30/2018)
- U.S. Steel Consent Decree Initial Submittal “Wastewater Treatment O&M Manual and Preventative Maintenance Program Plan” (4/13/2018)
- Transmittal Letter Re: United States Steel Corporation ("U. S. Steel"), Midwest Plant, Portage, Indiana: Wastewater Treatment O&M Manual and Preventative Maintenance Program Plan (4/13/2018)
- Federal Register Notice: Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree under the Clean Water Act (4/6/2018)
- U. S. Steel Corporation Agrees to Improve Environmental Compliance at Indiana Facility, Pay Civil Penalty, and Reimburse U.S. for Response Costs and Damages for Toxic Chromium Spill (4/2/2018)
- Filed Complaint (4/2/2018)
- Lodged Consent Decree (4/2/2018)
- Letter Subject: Emergency Planning and Community-Right-to-Know Follow Up Notification Letter Incident date: April 11, 2017 (2/2/2018)
- EPA Inspection Report (5/4/2017)
The following links exit the site Exit
- Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s Virtual File Cabinet (discharge monitoring reports, state inspection reports, and other compliance and permit-related documents) To view the information, you must pass the "robot test" and then click "search."
- IDEM U.S. Steel Consent Decree Related Documents (Press release, lodging, consent decree, etc.)