Aug 03, 2007

EPA Won’t Stop BP From Dumping into Lake Michigan

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has stated that it will not stop a permit that allows a BP refinery in Indiana to dump more pollution into Lake Michigan. The chief claims that the permit complies with the Clean Water Act, and therefore there is no need to intervene.

EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson told the The Chicago Tribune that he saw nothing wrong with the permit Indiana regulators awarded BP in June, even though it is the first company in years allowed to increase the amount of toxic chemicals dumped into one of the Great Lakes.

The federal government has been pushing for thirty years to stop pollution in the great lakes, but this doesn’t not have an affect on the EPA.

Johnson told The Chicago Tribune that the EPA is trying to work with BP and other companies to improve the condition of the Great Lakes.

BP recently won permission from state regulators to discharge into Lake Michigan 54% more ammonia and 35% more suspended solids.

This permit was necessary for BP to proceed with a $3.8 billion refinery expansion to process heavier Canadian crude oil at the. The permit allows BP to wait until 2012 to meet a strict standard for mercury pollution set by the EPA in 1995.

The Chicago Tribune reports that last week, the House of Representatives voted 387-26 to approve a resolution urging Indiana to reconsider the permit.

Lawmakers are split with their opinions concerning the new permit. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., has threatened to punish BP, while Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels has defends the permit, as it complies with state law.