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The National Park Service has now received the results of weekend testing of three of its beaches for a hazardous chemical, hexavalent chromium, that was spilled into the Burns Waterway on April 11. Water and beach sand samples were taken by contractors working for the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), from April 12 - 16, at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore’s West Beach, Cowles Bog Beach, and Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk beach. All EPA water and beach sand samples were below laboratory reporting limits. Based on these results, the three beaches will be reopened to the public this afternoon.
The National Park Service is working with the EPA and other agencies to implement a long-term monitoring protocol to ensure the safety of park visitors throughout the upcoming beach season. Park staff also remains concerned about potential long-term harm to wildlife and other park resources.
For details on the testing results, go to the United States Environmental Protection Agency website at: response.epa.gov/