BP reverses course, pledges NO INCREASE in Lake Michigan discharge!

Great news! BP has agreed NOT to increase their discharge limits even though they had been allowed via a foolish EPA ruling.

Thanks to all those who signed the petition- I would have expected BP to cooperate with what the citizens of MANY states demanded. The press release: http://whiting.bp.com/go/doc/1550/169779/

Warrenville, IL- BP America today promised to operate its
Whiting refinery to meet the lower discharge limits contained in the
refinery’s previous wastewater treatment permit. 
 “We have participated in an open and transparent permitting process
with the State of Indiana and obtained a valid permit that meets all
regulatory standards and is protective of water quality and human
health.  Even so, ongoing regional opposition to any increase in
discharge permit limits for Lake Michigan creates an unacceptable level
of business risk for this $3.8 billion investment,” said BP America
Chairman and President Bob Malone.

BP has obtained regulatory approval to increase average daily discharge
limits for ammonia from 1,030 to 1,584 pounds per day and for total
suspended solids (TSS) from 3646 to 4925 pounds per day to modernize
the Whiting refinery and greatly increase the amount of Canadian heavy
crude it can process.

During the next 18 months, BP will continue to seek issuance of other
permits, continue project design and explore options for operating
within the lower discharge limits.  BP America notified the State of
Indiana of its decision late yesterday afternoon and reiterated its
dedication to the proposed refinery expansion.

“We are committed to this project.  It is important for the nation, it
is important for the Midwest, and it is important to BP and to the
thousands of BP employees in the State of Indiana,” Malone said. “We
are going to work hard to make this project succeed.”

“We will not make use of the higher discharge limits in our new
permit,” said BP America Chairman and President Bob Malone. “We’re not
aware of any technology that will get us to those limits but we’ll work
to develop a project that allows us to do so.  If necessary changes to
the project result in a material impact to project viability, we could
be forced to cancel it.”

BP has already agreed to participate with the Purdue Calumet Water
Institute and the Argonne National Laboratory in a joint effort to
identify and evaluate emerging technologies with the potential to
improve wastewater treatment across the Great Lakes.  Malone announced
today that BP will provide a $5 million grant to Purdue University to
help underwrite the research effort.

The $3.8 billion project is designed to increase the amount of Canadian
heavy crude processed at the more than 400,000 barrel-per-day refinery
from 30 to 90 per cent and also creates the capacity to increase
production of clean fuels by 1.7 million gallons a day.  The project
will create 2000 construction jobs and 80 permanent jobs.

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