A steel company wants to build a nearly 75-acre landfill to hold sludge from its mill less than a mile from the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
Mittal Steel is seeking permission for the landfill, which would initially store up to 1.8 million tons of sludge now stockpiled on company property.
The company needs approval from the Burns Harbor Board of Zoning Appeals and the state Department of Environmental Management for the project about 10 miles east of Gary.
Mittal officials say the sludge is material left over from the steel-making process that can't be recovered and recycled.
The executive director of the Save the Dunes Council says the sludge is now exposed to the air and groundwater runoff, but says it's difficult to determine if a landfill is the best solution.