For Immediate Release
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Contact: Cameron Davis, 312-375-2004 (cell)
Alliance Commends BP, Seeks Assurances on Pollution Levels
CHICAGO Reacting to todays statement that BP will use previous pollution permit limits instead of new, higher limits, one of the most vocal public interest critics of the higher pollution allowances praised the companys statement and called for assurances to lock it into place.
Many companies would have retrenched, said Cameron Davis, president of the Alliance for the Great Lakes, at a press conference today with U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) and Timothy Mitchell, superintendent of the Chicago Park District.
We commend BP for reconsidering, Davis said, adding that assurances are needed that the lower pollution limits will be implemented.
The Alliance last week filed a petition with Indiana's Office of Environmental Adjudication challenging the water pollution discharge permit, the only such lawsuit seeking to re-open the permit to contest the increased pollution that would be discharged into Lake Michigan.
Earlier this summer, BPs refinery in Whiting, Ind., received a permit to discharge nearly 1,500 pounds of ammonia and 5,000 pounds of suspended solids from treated sludge into Lake Michigan daily -- increases of 54 percent and 35 percent respectively. The permit, issued by Indianas Department of Environmental Management, also gives BP until 2012 to meet strict federal limits for discharging mercury, a dangerous neurotoxin.
The Alliance will maintain its legal challenge to the water pollution permit to ensure that BPs commitment is locked into place, Davis said. The petition seeks a stay of the BP discharge permit, and further asks the court to start the clock over with a new permit appeal time.
The real story here isnt about ammonia or suspended solids. Its that people are demanding a new standard of care for the Great Lakes. They want to see them restored over time -- not the status quo, Davis said. This generation wants to leave the Great Lakes better than the way we found them.
The petition is online at http://www.greatlakes.org/news/pdf/Petition-Indiana.081407.doc
Formed in 1970, the Alliance for the Great Lakes (formerly the Lake Michigan Federation) is the oldest independent citizens' organization in North America. Its mission is to conserve and restore the world's largest freshwater resource using policy, education and local efforts, ensuring a healthy Great Lakes and clean water for generations of people and wildlife. More information is online at www.greatlakes.org.
Alliance for the Great Lakes