BP Pledges No Increase in Lake Michigan Discharge Limits at Whiting Refinery
Warrenville, IL.- BP America today promised to operate its Whiting refinery to meet the lower discharge limits contained in the refinery’s previous wastewater treatment permit.
“We have participated in an open and transparent permitting process with the State of Indiana and obtained a valid permit that meets all regulatory standards and is protective of water quality and human health. Even so, ongoing regional opposition to any increase in discharge permit limits for Lake Michigan creates an unacceptable level of business risk for this $3.8 billion investment,” said BP America Chairman and President Bob Malone.
BP has obtained regulatory approval to increase average daily discharge limits for ammonia from 1,030 to 1,584 pounds per day and for total suspended solids (TSS) from 3646 to 4925 pounds per day to modernize the Whiting refinery and greatly increase the amount of Canadian heavy crude it can process.
During the next 18 months, BP will continue to seek issuance of other permits, continue project design and explore options for operating within the lower discharge limits. BP America notified the State of Indiana of its decision late yesterday afternoon and reiterated its dedication to the proposed refinery expansion.
“We are committed to this project. It is important for the nation, it is important for the Midwest, and it is important to BP and to the thousands of BP employees in the State of Indiana,” Malone said. “We are going to work hard to make this project succeed.”
“We will not make use of the higher discharge limits in our new permit,” said BP America Chairman and President Bob Malone. “We’re not aware of any technology that will get us to those limits but we’ll work to develop a project that allows us to do so. If necessary changes to the project result in a material impact to project viability, we could be forced to cancel it.”
BP has already agreed to participate with the Purdue Calumet Water Institute and the Argonne National Laboratory in a joint effort to identify and evaluate emerging technologies with the potential to improve wastewater treatment across the Great Lakes. Malone announced today that BP will provide a $5 million grant to Purdue University to help underwrite the research effort.
The $3.8 billion project is designed to increase the amount of Canadian heavy crude processed at the more than 400,000 barrel-per-day refinery from 30 to 90 per cent and also creates the capacity to increase production of clean fuels by 1.7 million gallons a day. The project will create 2000 construction jobs and 80 permanent jobs.
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