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Plant Dumps Cyanide Into Little Calumet River, Killing Fish and Shutting Down Indiana Dunes

An Indiana steel factory discarded
toxic levels of cyanide and ammonia-nitrogen in the Little Calumet River,
killing fish and closing down parts of the Indiana Dunes Wednesday.

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The Indiana Department of
Environmental Management, which is doing the investigation, said a steel plant owned
by ArcelorMittal dumped excess quantities of cyanide and ammonia-nitrogen into
the east branch of the river, causing numerous fish to die. The department said
it invited ArcelorMittal to help clean up the spill and observe the chemical
concentration in the Little Calumet River.

The National Park Service
said it shut the water out to 300 feet at the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk
beach area of the Indiana Dunes National Park. Parts of the Little Calumet
River were shut between Highway 149 and 249, the park service said. The trails is
still open. The waters will be shut until the reason of the spill is found, the
park service said. Inhabitants were told to avoid eating fish from the spill

A representative for
ArcelorMittal said in an announcement that the company was
"concerned" about the cyanide and ammonia quantity in the water, and
that it was investigating the source and working with all agencies

“We will continue to work
closely with the agencies involved and provide updates as appropriate,"
ArcelorMittal's statement reads, adding that the company was also notified of
an oil spill at the Port of Indiana, which it also continues to investigate. "ArcelorMittal
Burns Harbor is committed to environmental compliance and takes both situations
very seriously. We will continue working cooperatively with the agencies
involved on each matter to identify the responsible party and/or source and
address accordingly.”

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