Excerpt from the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette (via GLIN), 'More BP Refinery Doubts,' |
Evidence that the Indiana Department of Environmental Management did a slipshod job in approving a construction permit for the BP refinery is mounting. Now, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is amending its citation against the Whiting oil refinery for clean air violations.
The EPA is adding a complaint to a November 2007 violation notice to the refinery. The new allegation: BP violated the Clean Air Act by failing to get a permit when it modified the plant in 2005. According to the EPA, the agency “now has information suggesting that BP may have begun a project to process Canadian crude oil at the refinery in 2005 without the proper permit.”
IDEM approved the construction permit on May 1. BP sought it to expand the oil refinery along Lake Michigan so it could process Canadian crude oil. The Canadian crude is heavier, and the refinery needs to refine it into lighter products, such as gasoline.
But refining heavier crude oil involves significant increases in sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and particulate matter emissions. The emissions are harmful to the environment and to people, especially those with respiratory illnesses, such as asthma.
Excerpt from J. Lang, on E-M, 'Honor BP,' 7-21-08:
--- Following suspect futures trading in propane gas during 2003 and 2004, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission in 2006 charged that BP, with the knowledge, advice and consent of senior management, conspired to manipulate and corner the market in propane. In 2007, BP agreed to pay nearly $303 million in damages and penalties.
--- An explosion and fire in 2005, resulting from mismanagement and neglect at its Texas City refinery, killed 15 people and injured approximately 100 others. The U.S. Department of Labor ordered BP to pay a $21 million penalty for 'egregious, willful violations' of safety standards.
--- In 2006, corrosion in BP's Alaskan pipeline from Prudhoe Bay was so severe that the pipeline began leaking crude onto the tundra, the result of years of mismanagement and neglect.
--- Four fires at BP's oil field operations on Alaska's North Slope during the first two weeks of September, 2007 caused concern and inquiries from state officials.
--- In August last year, BP asserted the right under a permit from USEPA and the State of Indiana to increase its discharges of ammonia (by 54 per cent) and suspended solids, including mercury, lead, nickel and vanadium (by 35 per cent) from its Whiting, Indiana refinery into Lake Michigan and waters downstream. That assertion was part of a plan to process heavier, dirtier crude from the Alberta tar sands. The increase of discharges was stopped dead in its tracks by a public uprising and a call by the Chicago Sun Times for a boycott.
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