« More Input: IBJ Wants To See How Others Would Deal With Tax Woes | Main | Bowled Over: Dear Lord, Please Guide The Hoosiers To Victory Today »

Public Relations: BP Whiting Submits New Air Pollution Plan To State

Sewagemonster For those following environmental issues in Northwest Indiana, BP Whiting has revised its air pollution permit to reflect some concerns from the community. The wastewater dumping issue, which netted them a good six weeks of bad press earlier this year, remains unresolved.

"BP's newly proposed air emissions limits are strict and part of an important multibillion-dollar investment in the region, company executives said Friday.

"BP officials continued detailing the refinery's proposed air permit submitted earlier in the week. Friday's presentation at the company's Whiting refinery was to local union, economic development officials and municipal leaders who sought to understand the proposed limits.

"BP Whiting plant manager Dan Sajkowski also gave the audience updates on the site's $3.8-billion expansion, in which he said there is "a lot at stake."

"BP submitted an air application to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management that would decrease emissions of four pollutants but would increase releases of sulfur dioxide, particulate matter and lead by 2011.

"Under the new permit, BP would apply the use of credits earned through pollutant-reducing investments to offset the spikes, company officials explained.

"Officials are still determining how to curb emissions of carbon dioxide, not included in the proposed permit, which expected to increase by 50 percent because of expansion planned at the plant, Sajkowski said.

"Sajkowski stressed the refinery's 68 percent reduction in regulated emissions during the last five years.

"'To us, that's a big deal,' he said.

"He said the refinery still is clamoring for a solution to how it will undertake its multibillion-dollar expansion without further polluting Lake Michigan.

"After weathering weeks of criticism regarding proposals to hike releases of ammonia and suspended solids, BP retreated and vowed not to dump more.

"'We, frankly, still don't know how to do that,' Sajkowski said."

Comments

BP will shut down in Lake County. The environmental clean up is necessary but won't be tolerated at this old refinery. Good bye jobs.

Are you sure about that? The plant is too perfectly located for oil coming from Canada. Perhaps they're just using shutting down as a threat to avoid paying for the clean-up.

This is Gary from BP. I'm writing again on my own, with my own opinions -not subject to review or approval from BP. I'm pretty familiar with this project so maybe I can clear up a couple of things.
====================================

Nobody, I mean nobody wants or plans to shut down Whiting. I think the statements you are referring to reference the big Canadian Crude project itself. As I understand things, Bob Malone has said if we can't make the water discharge emissions work out under the previous limits then we might have to cancel the project. Thats the truth but it's hardly a threat. It's the last thing anyone wants to happen.

Regarding the statement "Perhaps they're just using shutting down as a threat to avoid paying for the clean-up." the world doesn't work that way. BP is on the hook for the long-term fate of that refinery no matter what happens.

I have an issue with the title of this thread... Why is when BP comes in with a really strict air permit application that cuts pollution it is automatically labeled "Public Relations"? You beat BP up for not being serious about the environment but when they show they are you respond cynically. C'mon, where's the love in that?

TDW, the wastewater issue is not unresolved. They received a permit with the new, controversial limits but made a company decision to stick with the standard under the old permit. It may be unresolved in the minds of environmentalists who would rather BP just shut their doors, but it is resolved in the eyes of the company and the regulators.

Gary,

BP has always had the resources and technology to stay within the environmental limits proposed even without pre-processing in Canada. The hang up has always been the cost of the additional pollution control equipment.

Recently it appears that politics have become the driving force behind BP decisions regarding US operations.

Just look at the recent BP proposal to eliminate and relocate thousands of BP jobs from its Chicago headquarters to Houston in retribution for the public flogging over investments in pollution controls.

Let it be known, NO ONE ever opposed the expansion of the Whiting refinery. All that was requested was that BP invest in additional pollution control equipment to keep up with the increased production of the heavier/sour crude at the refinery.

A simple request that remarkably was met with arrogance and a complete lack of responsiveness which resulted in a snow ball of resentment by the public and media.

Just wait for the public outrage and media resentment if BP cancels the project and doesn't significantly increase US refinery capacity.

Blaming environmentalists will not hide BP's corporate profiteering and lack of investment in domestic operations that endanger our national security.

BP Retribution--

I don't know this first hand but I doubt that the "public flogging" over the water permit issues had anthing to do with the announced relocations to Houston. What I have seen happening for some time is a gradual movement of the center of gravity for BP in the US from Chicago to Houston. To me, this just seems like the endgame of a longer trend.

YHSNY - I don't think that BP is blaming anybody, just stating a fact: If we can't make the project meet the public's expecations then we won't do the project.

How would BP refine Canadian oil in Houston? Wouldn't it cost a lot to ship it there just to turn around and ship it back to the midwest?

It's not the refinery that's being moved. It's a lot of the people in offices, principally in the Western Suburbs.

That being said, it's my understanding that there are some pipeline projects under development that can get Canadian Crude to the Gulf Coast.

Also -- to clarify my statement to YHSNY: I don't think it's likely BP will kill the project over the wastewater issue, I think the solutions are out there. It is a possibility though. People shouldn't read it as a threat. Instead it shows the degree of the commitment to meeting the current limits.

Post a comment

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

Find Stuff

  •  

Buy Stuff