The National Park Service says it has reopened the waters of all beaches at Indiana Dunes National Park. The National Park Service had closed the park’s water after an “unknown, rusty-colored discharge” was seen coming from the US Steel plant in Portage, Indiana on September 26. 

The Official Government Facebook Page for the City of Portage provided an update from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.  

“EPA’s preliminary sample results show the reddish-orange discharge from the US Steel Midwest Plant outfall was caused by high levels of iron. EPA’s preliminary sample results also currently indicate that the discharge was below the numeric effluent discharge limits contained in US Steel’s NPDES permit.  Results for surface water samples taken near the US Steel outfall do not indicate any health risks for people who may come into direct contact with the water along the Portage River Walk.”

“Federal and state agencies continue to investigate the matter to determine the cause of the discharge and possible Clean Water Act compliance issues, as well as environmental impacts and further actions that are necessary to ensure future compliance.”