Chicago, surfers oppose U.S. Steel chemical spill settlement

PORTAGE, Ind. (AP) — Chicago and some Great Lakes surfers say a federal settlement inadequately punishes U.S. Steel for chemical spills into Lake Michigan.

The University of Chicago discovered last year that the steelmaker’s Midwest Plant has violated chromium limits at least four times since 2013.

The proposed deal calls for U.S. Steel to pay nearly $900,000, test for hexavalent chromium daily at the plant, create a preventative maintenance program and upgrade pollution monitoring.

The Chicago Law Department and the nonprofit Surfrider Foundation said in a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency Monday that they’ll oppose the deal in federal court if changes aren’t made.

The groups want environmental improvement projects for communities near the Portage plant, an independent study of potential long-term damage and an automated early warning system to detect future spills.

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