Ecological Risk Assessment, Sterling Material Services Site, US EPA Region 5, Lake County, IN

SRS staff are conducting an ecological risk assessment at the Sterling Site to determine if contaminants pose an unacceptable risk to ecological receptors. Located in Gary, IN, the site processed industrial waste (i.e., slag) and refractory brick from various steel mills operating in Indiana and Illinois. There is a wetland onsite that is connected to the Clark and Pine Nature Preserve. Remnants of the very rare ridge and swale topography, a globally impaired habitat, occurs at the Clark and Pine Nature preserve and at the site wetland.

In addition, SRS has completed an ecological survey with support of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and US Fish and Wildlife (USFWS) to evaluate the ecological habitat and identify Federal or State-listed species. Additional tasks included evaluating data gaps, collecting wetland sediment and surface water samples, sediment toxicity testing (28-day Hyallela azteca test), food web modeling, and risk characterization.