Waste pile deal shows deep IDEM problems

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

Environmental groups happy over a settlement requiring a Burns Harbor, Ind., steel mill to clean up more than 3 million tons of waste say the two-year fight that led to the deal illustrates deep problems within Indiana's environmental agency.

State regulators, steel mill owner ArcelorMittal and two environmental groups reached a settlement in late July that will require the mill to remove slag and other waste that piled up in lakeside heaps over two decades along Lake Michigan.

Environmentalists tell The Indianapolis Star (http://indy.st/OoYTT7 ) the waste piles show Indiana's elected leaders view environmental regulations as obstacles to business. They say a streamlined permitting process allows polluters to avoid more stringent reviews.

IDEM spokeswoman Amy Hartsock says Commissioner Thomas Easterly has pushed to protect the environment.

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