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Boot To The Head: EPA Swoops In, Objects To Proposed U.S. Steel Permit

Sewagemonster Indiana has earned a thwack upside the head from the feds over its plans to issue a pollution permit that would allow U.S. Steel to dump more toxins into a Lake Michigan tributary:

"The Environmental Protection Agency has moved to block Indiana's plans to issue a new pollution permit for the U.S. Steel mill in Gary.

"The federal agency formally objected to the way Indiana environmental officials determined the amount of waste the mill could discharge, as well as how much time the mill would have to meet the permit limits. The objections are laid out in a letter dated Oct. 1 that was released late Friday.

"Under federal law, the permit can not be issued without the EPA's approval.

"Indiana officials confirmed Friday they will be changing the permit in the wake of the EPA memo and input from the public.

"'We want to effectively address all concerns that have been raised to us,' Indiana Department of Environmental Management spokeswoman Amy Hartsock said.

"At stake is how much oil and grease, lead, arsenic, benzene, fluoride and nitrates from the mill can be dumped into the Grand Calumet River, which flows into Lake Michigan. The lake is the source of drinking water for Chicago and several other cities.

"U.S. Steel's Gary Works -- a series of blast furnaces, coke ovens and steel-finishing mills -- is the largest source of water pollution in the Lake Michigan basin. The complex dumped more than 1.7 million pounds in 2005."

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin has some harsh words for the Guv in this Gary Post-Tribune story, causing gubernatorial flacktoid Jane Jankowski to whip out the old if-you're-not-with-us-you're-against-jobs talking points:

"Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) lashed out at IDEM and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, accusing the governor of not doing his part to protect Lake Michigan.

"'It troubles me why, month after month, we have to worry about the governor of Indiana asking for another permit to pollute this lake,' Durbin said Friday. 'I wish Gov. Daniels would come up and take a look at this beautiful lake. It is not just the backyard and sewage dump for the industries.'

"The governor's spokeswoman, Jane Jankowski, told the Post-Tribune: 'Gov. Daniels will ignore the personal cheap shots hurled at him by Sen. Durbin, but it's clear the senator doesn't care if steelworkers lose their jobs or not.'"


It's the only argument they have, that is until they put more state employees in the unemployment line then it's for the benefit of the state. Mitch is using the George W. Bush playbook when it comes to the environment, their logging our State forests, trying to dump more pollutants in our lakes and rivers, they tried to bulldoze hundreds of acres of trees and farmland to build a useless 6 lane "commerce connector" and when anyone speaks up to point it out the administration accuses them of keeping hard working hoosiers from getting new jobs.
If they really cared about the people in this state work their collective butts off everyday to make a living they would be trying to live up to their promises about getting more technology related training and jobs into the state instead of bringing $10 to $14/hr factory and warehouse jobs in and calling it a great thing.

Don't forget the lax environmental controls on the numerous ethanol refineries and the large expansion of pig farms. i.e. Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations(CAFO)

Also don't forget that Mitch's stooge Kyle Hupfer wanted to put a strip mining operation into a wildlife refuge for the benefit of a big Republican contributor.

In a document posted previously on the Internet, Indiana regulators wrote that they removed some pollution limits from the old U.S. Steel permit because they concluded the mill wasn't likely to exceed them in the future.

Environmental groups and other critics, including the City of Chicago, argue that the lack of specific limits clears the way for U.S. Steel to dump unlimited amounts of certain pollutants, including oil and grease, lead, arsenic, benzene, fluoride and nitrates.

Critics also noted that U.S. Steel frequently has been cited for violating the Clean Water Act. As part of one legal settlement with the EPA and U.S. Justice Department, the company is dredging millions of cubic yards of contaminated sediment out of the Grand Calumet from years of past abuse.

I thought the argument that they were lowering the limits because they didn't think U.S. Steel would exceed them a bit strange.

That's like leaving your teen-age son at home on a Saturday night with a bunch of porn and the specific admonition not to watch it.

Durbin, Obama, Emanuel Ask For Meeting With US Steel Regarding Wastewater Permit That Violates Conditions of Clean Water Act


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