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Not good - Polluting Lake Michigan!!!

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Not good - Polluting Lake Michigan!!!

Postby Montessori Kiter » Wed Jul 18, 2007 6:49 pm

We need your help here in the midwest USA... ... php?t=5542

#####BEGIN ARTICLE######
Several Great Lakes lawmakers this week urged federal regulators to block a BP refinery near the Illinois-Indiana border from dumping significantly more ammonia and industrial sludge into Lake Michigan.

Reacting to a story in Sunday's Tribune, members of Congress from Illinois, Indiana and Michigan contacted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, demanding to know why the agency stood idle while Indiana regulators approved the oil company's proposal.

Chicago and the Chicago Park District, meanwhile, are planning to conduct a petition drive at beaches this weekend to encourage public opposition to BP's plans.
State officials exempted BP from Indiana environmental laws to clear the way for a $3.8 billion expansion, which will allow the Whiting, Ind., refinery to process more heavy Canadian crude oil. They justified the move in part by noting the project will create 80 new jobs.

Like most states, Indiana is authorized to administer the Clean Water Act and other federal environmental laws. The U.S. EPA frequently steps in to oversee permits and enforcement, but in this case the agency did not object to the state's decision.

The refinery already is one of the largest polluters on the Great Lakes, but under BP's new state permit it can release 54 percent more ammonia and 35 percent more sludge into Lake Michigan every day. Ammonia promotes algae blooms that can kill fish and trigger beach closings, while sludge contains concentrated heavy metals.

Federal and state regulators acknowledged this is the first time in years that a company has been allowed to dump more pollution into the lake, the source of drinking water for Chicago and dozens of other communities.

"We need to embarrass the BP leadership to do the right thing," U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) said Tuesday on WGN radio's "The Spike O'Dell Show." "In my book, BP, which tries to market itself as an environmentally friendly company, now stands for 'Bad Pollution.'"

Kirk and other lawmakers said they previously weren't aware of the BP permit. Among those demanding more information were U.S. Sens. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) and Reps. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) and Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.).

Durbin sent a letter to top EPA officials in Washington citing, among other things, a Clean Water Act provision that prohibits any decline in water quality even if limits on pollution discharges are met. The amounts allowed under BP's new permit remain at or below federal guidelines.

"It's our responsibility to support efforts to restore, rather than further degrade Lake Michigan," Durbin wrote.

The EPA is preparing a response to the congressional letters and calls, said Phillipa Cannon, a spokeswoman in the agency's regional office in Chicago. Indiana regulators, meanwhile, said they forced BP to discharge less pollution than the company had requested.

In an e-mail, a BP official said the company is spending $90 million to upgrade the refinery's water-treatment plant.

"Every step has been done properly, with the oversight of state and federal regulators and in full public view," wrote Scott Dean, a company spokesman.

But state and federal regulators agreed with BP that there isn't enough room at the 1,400-acre Whiting site to upgrade the water treatment plant enough to keep more pollution out of the lake. As a result, the company will be allowed to dump an average of 1,584 pounds of ammonia and 4,925 pounds of sludge into Lake Michigan every day.

We need you guys to take a moment to send a note of protest to these people regarding this decision, one or as many contacts as you have time for...PLEASE!

Lisa Madigan,
Rod R. Blagojevich,

Senators Obama and Durbin you need to go to their site, and fill out the webform...then copy/paste the sample letter (above) into the form:

mark kirk,
Durbin, Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

Mayor Richard Daley
Office of the Mayor
City Hall - 121 N. LaSalle, Room 507
Chicago, IL 60602
Print and Fax to: 312-744-8045

CITY of CHICAGO Ward and Alderman Listing:
Click on "Your Ward and Aldermen" at bottom right of page

Montessori Kiter
Montessori Pathways School

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Postby droffats » Wed Jul 18, 2007 7:49 pm

I sent candidate and Illinois Senator Obama a letter on it. 80 jobs. Whopee. It's also 80 more swimmers with sinus infections, 80 more beach closings, 80 episodes of horrible stench, 80 more cases of asthma, 80 more fill in the blank. Plus tourism, boating, fishing, and watersports dollars lost. For the cost of the breaks the company is getting, it would be more effective for Indiana to just hand out checks to 80 umemployed people.

And yeah, before you flamers get going, I put my money where my mouth is. I don't buy BP fuel, I own a ULEV car, I bike rather than drive as much as I can, have CF light bulbs, blah, blah, blah. I'm no angel though too. I'm on this bloody computer right now when I should be kiting!


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Postby ScottM » Wed Jul 18, 2007 8:10 pm

droffats wrote: I own a ULEV car
What type?

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Postby Emofish » Wed Jul 18, 2007 8:36 pm

Come on...A little sludge is good for the strengthing of the immune system. And with the ammonia, just think how clean your board will be when you finish your session. Gotta be positive man!

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Postby Mug » Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:23 pm

I find it amazing that such trash could happen like this BP refinery (along with the many other refineries) can be built without any thought to their effects on nature, people, acid rain, polluting water supplies. all thanks to the lobbyists and friends of the current administration. this country is begging to show signs of a third world mentality in its policies, yet the American public don't care as long as they get cheap gas. I wonder though how much kick backs the politicians are getting for this proposed expansion. I mean 80 jobs is not much against the damage this refinery will cause. I find this ridiculous but what do the fat executives care at BP they won't be affected by this else than their fat wallets.

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Postby chicagokitesurfer » Tue Jul 24, 2007 2:31 pm

Of course there's a kickback to these guys. Investors vote the deal, and the investors are the ones to benefit, so it is obviously biased. Indiana is a craphole. I feel for anyone that lives in that state. Too bad Indiana's neighbors have to deal with Indiana everyday.

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