Save the Dunes, Natural Resources Defense Council and the Alliance for the Great Lakes have been poring over piles of documents relating to BP’s current National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) wastewater permit through the Indiana Department of Environmental Management for their refinery in Whiting, Indiana. This is the 5th largest oil refinery in the United States, and it now processes tar sands as well as other products.
Generally speaking, we are pleased that IDEM worked so thoroughly to understand our collective concerns and suggestions, yet the permit is not perfect either. A main source of concern is their Streamlined Mercury Variance, which allows the company to discharge more than the Great Lakes water quality standard for mercury.
Mercury is a serious neurological health concern, particularly for fetuses, infants and children.
Here is a Northwest Indiana Times article outlining our thoughts (click here).
Our colleague Ann Alexander of Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) created an eloquent blog post that also reflects our opinion. It can be found here.