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In The News Again: Obama, House Members Question BP Permits

Sewagemonster The issues of environmental regulation and permitting at the BP refinery in Whiting are back in the news again, this time with the celebrity backing of a presidential candidate:

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama and two of his Illinois colleagues are urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to mount a "comprehensive" review of proposed air and construction permits for BP's Whiting refinery.

Obama and fellow Illinois Democrats Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Rahm Emanuel suggest that Indiana is rushing the permit process for the refinery, which BP plans to expand into a hub for processing heavy Canadian crude oil.

They raised their concerns in a letter sent Tuesday to the EPA's Chicago office which states that the Indiana Department of Environmental Management has "set an aggressive timeline to issue a final permit" for the refinery about 20 miles southeast of Chicago.

"While it is certainly possible to make determinations on the impact of significant plant modifications to regulated air quality standards and to do so in a compressed timeframe, a thorough EPA review of IDEM's decisions is clearly merited," their letter states.

The congressmen also said they had questions about whether the two draft permits that IDEM released earlier this month comply with Clean Air Act requirements.

One of BP's proposed permits details the construction changes the refinery would undergo as part of the $3.8 billion expansion. The other sets the proposed new pollution emission levels the expanded refinery would have to meet.

Comments

Obama and Clinton have obviously given up on Indiana. Has Vice-Pres Bayh weighed in on this issue????????

These IL Senators are very smug in not discussing the large black cloud that hangs over Joliet, IL, which includes a BP plant, as well as several others...

Further downstate IL, across the river from StL lies several plants as well...

I just don't understand...why rush a good thing? It's not like people drink water from Lake Michigan...oh wait...they do.

This is Indiana...rules, smules...anything goes as long as it makes a buck! Right Mitch?

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