BP to spend $400M to upgrade Ind. pollution controls

By Michael P. Tremoglie | May 25, 2012


WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - The Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday that BP North America will pay an $8 million penalty for violation of the Clean Air Act.

It will also invest more than $400 million to install pollution controls and cut emissions from their Whiting, Ind., refinery.

These actions resolve allegations of violations of the Clean Air Act, as well as alleged violations of a 2001 consent decree with the company that covered all of BP's refineries and was entered into as part of EPA's Petroleum Refinery Initiative.

"In this case, BP North America has not lived up to all of its obligations under an earlier settlement agreement and has committed new violations of the Clean Air Act at its Whiting refinery in Indiana," said Ignacia S. Moreno, Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice.

"This settlement secures a significant penalty, requires state-of-the-art controls, and is a fair and just resolution that will address BP's violations. We will continue to hold BP accountable and ensure that it complies with the nation's environmental laws."

According to DOJ, in addition to the controls on the refinery's flares, this settlement will also result in reduced emissions by imposing some of the lowest emission limits in refinery settlements to date, enhancing controls on wastewater containing benzene, and providing for an enhanced leak detection and repair program.

"This settlement was the product of both federal and state environmental enforcement entities and was enhanced by having environmental advocacy groups involved in the negotiations, including Save the Dunes, the Hoosier Chapter of the Sierra Club, the Hoosier Environmental Council, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Law and Policy Center," Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said.

"Respect for our nation's laws including the Clean Air Act is at the heart of this effort."

The state of Indiana, the Sierra Club, Save the Dunes, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Hoosier Environmental Council, the Environmental Law and Policy Center, the Environmental Integrity Project, Susan Eleuterio and Tom Tsourlis also joined in this settlement.

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