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Suspended Disbelief: BP Review Finds Rules, Not People, To Blame

Sewagemonster In case you were wondering, that whole debacle over BP Whiting's wastewater permit is in no way, shape or form the Guv's fault, at least according to the guy he hand-picked to investigate the issue:

"An independent analysis of the regulatory process Indiana used to approve a permit boosting pollution discharges from BP's Whiting, Ind., refinery into Lake Michigan concludes that the permit fully complies with federal and state laws.

"But the report released Thursday also highlights problems with Indiana's regulatory process that its author said helped fuel an uproar this past summer over the wastewater permit for the nation's fourth-largest refinery.

"The analysis sought by Gov. Mitch Daniels found that BP's permit is as demanding or more so than adjoining states' restrictions on refineries. And it concludes that its higher discharge levels do not 'threaten drinking water supplies nor portend beach closings.'

"However, the report by James Barnes, the former dean of Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs, concludes that the controversy over the permit arose in part from shortcomings in Indiana's regulations governing the lake's water quality.

"'The current situation illustrates the pitfalls that accompany a less than clear set of regulations,' his report states.

"Daniels requested the analysis in August following weeks of harsh criticism by environmentalists, the public and lawmakers about the 1,400-acre refinery's new wastewater permit, which replaces one issued in 1990.

"The permit, which Indiana granted in June, had been reviewed and approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It allows the refinery to increase the amount of ammonia it dumps into the lake by 54 percent and its discharges of suspended solids by 35 percent by 2012."

Stupid regulations. Always messing up the water and then trying to pass off the blame to the people who are paid to enforce them.

Comments

I'm confused.

Did IDEM approve changes that were violating EPA regs?

Does anyone else recall that last summer, in the wake of rising criticism, BP claimed it did not have the land on which to build a wastewater treatment facility?

A side article in The Times yesterday, on the subject of a BP training facility opening in a depressed area of Hammond, notes that Hammond is delaying permits on a 65-acre asphalt loading site to be built on BP property, at the Southwest corner of 129th Street and Indianapolis Boulevard.

Is it just me, or does it seem likely that one could build a wastewater treatment facility on 65 acres? Is it not that they didn't have the land, but that they had/have other plans for the land?

Scrap the asphalt service, build the wastewater treatment facility, BP.

IDEM didn't issue a permit which violates EPA regs. It can't...EPA always has a say on permits like the BP. Like with US Steel, EPA reviews the permit and requires any necessary changes to meet EPA regs. EPA singed off on the BP permit and the USS permit won't be issued until EPA signs off on it.

BP has new plans.

BP to invest $2.5 Billion in Toledo Ohio Refinery.

http://toledoblade.com

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