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01 • 20 • 2022

Surfrider Resumes Lawsuit Against U.S. Steel

By Sarah Damron

Yesterday, Surfrider filed motions with the U.S. District Court Northern District of Indiana, agreeing that it's time to resume our separate lawsuit against U.S. Steel for its ongoing Clean Water Act violations and seeking permission to file an Amended Complaint that includes some of the steel manufacturer's ongoing operations and maintenance failures and more recent violations.

Surfrider originally filed suit against U.S. Steel in 2018 for release of chromium, including extremely toxic hexavalent chromium, and other violations of the Clean Water Act. Meanwhile, the federal government and Indiana state government brought their own related lawsuit against U.S. Steel. The court rendered a decision on the governments' suit in 2021, approving a final settlement agreement which appears to be insufficient to bring U.S. Steel into full compliance, but does achieve some improvements. The settlement requires U.S. Steel to implement infrastructure upgrades and new operations plans, and to impose mandatory notification and penalties for future violations. Resuming Surfrider's lawsuit seeks to address violations not included in the governments' suit as well as additional, more recent Clean Water Act violations from U.S. Steel, and to secure additional measures from U.S. Steel to improve the company's operations and management practices to prevent future violations.

We will continue to provide updates in this important case as our fight to protect clean water ensues.