the bp refinery in whiting, indiana has been given permission to increase its dumping of mercury, ammonia and industrial sludge into lake michigan by the indiana department of environmental management. this reverses a 20 year old consensus that our great lakes should be cleaner and no longer an industrial dumping ground. the mercury permit exempts bp from a 1995 federal regulation limiting mercury discharges into the great lakes.
metropolitan water reclamation commissioner deb shore spoke before the IL-IN-MO regional caucus at yearlykos about the recent decision by the state of indiana to allow bp to increase dumping into lake michigan. the great lakes, as deb likes to say, constitutes 20% of the world's fresh water and it's a precious resource we need to care for.
so deb laments that it's too bad nobody told the lake about bp's plans, or indiana's consent. her opening remarks can be seen here:
debra's thinking about how to prevent bp from increasing its dumping into the lake is clearly outside the box. her agency, which is in charge of cleaning discharge in cook county, has infrastructure four miles from the whiting plant. deb has been looking for a way that mwrd could take the additional discharge that bp wants to dump into the lake. this is exactly the kind of problem that government should be involved in.
bp claims it doesn't have the capacity at whiting to clean up this discharge, although one suspects that it has chosen the "free" solution to increase the profitability of refining a dirtier oil into gas. debra talks about her interest in finding an innovative solution to this problem in the Q&A session that followed her remarks:
deb joins lt. gov. pat quinn, senator dick durbin, michigan senators stabenow and levin and mayor daley of chicago (and others) who are objecting to bp's request to pollute lake michigan.
you can tell bp what you think about it's decision to pollute lake michigan here.