More Lake Michigan test results coming after chemical spill

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Lake Michigan

PORTAGE, Ind. — Federal officials are awaiting more test results to determine whether a potentially carcinogenic chemical entered Lake Michigan during a wastewater spill at a U.S. Steel plant in northern Indiana.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency spokeswoman Rachel Bassler says testing Tuesday and Wednesday found no hexavalent chromium in the lake near the spill site in Portage, Indiana, about 30 miles east of Chicago.

She says preliminary results are expected Thursday on about 100 additional water samples.

Tuesday’s spill caused by a pipe failure allowed wastewater containing hexavalent chromium from an electroplating process to enter a tributary 100 yards (90 meters) from Lake Michigan.

A water utility stopped drawing water from the lake and three beaches at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and one in adjacent Ogden Dunes have been closed as a precaution.