CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel is getting ready to take U.S. Steel to court for violations of federal law following recent chemical spills.
The City will file an intent to sue U.S. Steel over what it says are violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA) over the dumping of chromium into Lake Michigan; 57 pounds of chromium were dumped into the water in late October, which is above the limit allowed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Mayor Emanuel says the threatened lawsuit is designed to get the attention of U.S. Steel and the EPA, who he says dropped the ball.
“We’re not asking for a lot. We’re asking the Trump administration to do their job,” he said. “Chicagoans rely on Lake Michigan for our drinking water, as an economic engine and as a recreational asset. Lake Michigan is our most precious natural resource; we must preserve and protect it, and we must pursue and punish those who pollute it.”
Emanuel says he will not stand idly by as “U.S. Steel repeatedly disregards and violates federal laws and our natural resources.”
In April, 300 pounds of chromium leaked out of a rusted pipe and into a waterway that led to Lake Michigan. The City has tested the water, and Mayor Emanuel says it is safe to drink.
The City of Chicago is scheduled to send U.S. Steel its Notice of Intent (NOI) to sue on Monday. Under the CWA, sending an NOI is a required first step before a lawsuit can be filed 60 days later.