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Swimming Now Allowed In Indiana Dunes Beaches After Cyanide Spill

Geologists have been examining parts of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore ever since a boy was swallowed by a hole in Mt. Baldy in July 2013. The giant dune has been closed to the public ever since. (Credit: CBS)

PORTAGE, Ind. (AP/CBS) – It’s going to be a beautiful day – and cyanide and ammonia won’t damper a trip to the Indiana Dunes.

Swimming is allowed again at the Portage lakefront, just in time for the weekend.

The National Park Service has reopened beaches in northwestern Indiana, more than a week after a spill of cyanide and ammonia from a steel factory along Lake Michigan.

The agency said three consecutive days of tests have been positive, including two days with no detection of cyanide. The government says samples were taken by Indiana environmental regulators and ArcelorMittal, and were reviewed by independent labs.

The Park Service had closed the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk beach areas at Indiana Dunes National Park. Fish were killed.

ArcelorMittal said the spill occurred after its Burns Harbor mill had a failure at a blast furnace water recirculation system.

Wastewater containing elevated levels of ammonia and cyanide was released in the Little Calumet River’s east branch. The company has apologized.

The state’s been monitoring the water and said it’s now safe for swimming.

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