CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) – BP Products North America Inc.
agreed to pay $275,000 and take steps to reduce pollution at its Whiting,
Indiana, petroleum refinery, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The BP refinery rests on the southwestern shore of Lake
Michigan and produces up to 430,000 barrels of oil a day. The EPA charged that an
estimated 23,500 pounds of pollution comes from the refinery per year.
BP allegedly discharged up to 39 barrels of oil into Lake
Michigan in 2014. After the EPA looked into the matter, they charged that BP
failed to implement its spill prevention, control and countermeasure plan.
Additionally, the company purportedly failed to provide appropriate containment
to prevent oil discharge. BP will update its plan and pay $151,899 in civil
The EPA also charged that BP exceeded the limits of its
wastewater discharge permit. To settle these allegations, BP agreed to install
new equipment and enhance stormwater controls, as well as pay a $74,212 civil
penalty. BP will also pay a $50,313 penalty to resolve allegations that it
violated the Clean Air Act’s chemical accident prevention requirements.
“Ensuring BP’s compliance with the Clean Water Act is
critical to protect Lake Michigan,” acting Regional Administrator Robert Kaplan
said. “Identifying hazards and maintaining a safe facility will prevent
accidental releases from occurring.”