BURNS HARBOR, Ind. (AP) — A northwestern Indiana steel mill is a major source of industrial lead and benzene emissions, and environmental regulators aren’t sure where the pollution ends up.
The Chicago Tribune came to the conclusion after analyzing years of federal records about ArcelorMittal’s Burns Harbor steel mill.
The newspaper found that the mill released nearly 18,000 pounds of lead and 173,000 pounds of benzene in 2016, and that the mill’s airborne emissions of both pollutants rose sharply during the past decade.
A state wind pattern analysis suggests pollution could be blowing north and west toward Chicago or south toward the Indiana community of Chesterton.
ArcelorMittal says there isn’t any evidence the mill’s air pollution exceeds regulatory standards.
The Environmental Protection Agency says it started an analysis this summer to determine where the mill’s lead pollution spreads.