GARY, Ind., Aug. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. Steel's Gary Works today announced an innovative $30 million sediment remediation project involving a five-mile stretch of the Grand Calumet River in Gary. The voluntary plan was developed by U.S. Steel in cooperation with the EPA and other federal, state and local agencies and citizens groups. U.S. Steel also disclosed a series of wastewater capital projects -- already completed at a cost of $25 million -- which will improve the plant's ability to prevent releases of process materials into the river. Details of the sediment remediation project, which is scheduled for completion by 2003, are contained in a new consent decree signed by the company and the EPA under the federal Clean Water Act. The plan involves dredging of the designated stretch of river to remove approximately 700,000 cubic yards of sediments. The sediments will be disposed of in a specially designed facility called a corrective action management unit (CAMU), which will be constructed on property owned by Gary Works south of its sheet and tin operations. The company also announced that it will fund post-remediation monitoring of the Grand Calumet and that it will convey certain parcels of land in the area for public recreational purposes. Paul J. Wilhelm, president of the U.S. Steel Group (NYSE: X) of USX Corporation, termed the plan "a creative commitment to costeffective environmental solutions on the Grand Calumet. U.S. Steel is gratified that a remediation plan was developed through cooperative negotiation, rather than drawn out litigation." Wilhelm added that the plan "goes well beyond what is required of the company under terms of an earlier (1990) consent agreement with the EPA -- evidence of U.S. Steel's commitment to continuous environmental improvement as well as competitive excellence. The Grand Calumet project represents the latest in a long series of investments and programs at Gary Works in line with that commitment to clean air and clean water in Northwest Indiana," Wilhelm said. Charles G. Carson, vice president of environmental affairs for the U.S. Steel Group, emphasized that "the sediments were deposited in the river over past decades through accepted practices of those times. Gary Works is a 90-year-old steel mill, and operating practices and environmental standards have changed over the years," Carson said. "Through this voluntary remediation plan, U.S. Steel and the various agencies and community groups who participated in its development are working together to assure that the Grand Calumet will provide more beneficial uses." Carson said the corrective action management unit which was proposed by U.S. Steel "is an example of the creative, costeffective solutions contained in the remediation plan. The CAMU will allow us to deal with the sediments dredged from the river in an innovative, state-of-the-art manner on Gary Works property," said Carson. "Since there will be virtually no need to transport and dispose of material off site, there will be minimal impact on the community." The CAMU will safely contain the river sediments and will allow the removal, treatment and discharge of clean water back into the Grand Calumet. Monitoring will assure that no impact will occur to groundwater, soil, the river or the ambient air. In addition to the $25 million wastewater treatment programs recently completed by Gary Works, the plant is in the process of implementing a new environmental management system covering all aspects of Gary's operations. That plan is scheduled to be fully implemented by December of this year. As part of the Grand Calumet remediation agreement, U.S. Steel will convey for public use five parcels totaling 246 acres for natural resources and habitat purposes. Included will be 32 acres of natural habitat area owned by Gary Works near the headwaters of the river which will be donated to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Park. The other four parcels will be purchased and deeded to the federal government or the state of Indiana to be used by the public for fishing and other recreational activities. Visit USX Corporation's web site at http://www.usx.com. USX Corporation press releases are available through Company News On-Call by fax, 800-758-5804, ext. 929150, or at http://www.prnewswire.com.
SOURCE U.S. Steel Group