EPA, BP reach agreement on water violations at Whiting, IN, Refinery

EPA found that BP exceeded the limits of its wastewater discharge permit in April and November of 2011, among other violations.

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CHICAGO, June 15, 2016 -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that BP Products North America Inc. has agreed to take steps to reduce an estimated 23,500 pounds of pollution annually from its petroleum refinery in Whiting, Indiana, and pay more than $275,000 in civil penalties to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act. Located on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan, BP operates the nation’s sixth largest petroleum refinery, producing up to 430,000 barrels of oil a day.

"Ensuring BP’s compliance with the Clean Water Act is critical to protect Lake Michigan," said acting Regional Administrator Robert Kaplan. "Identifying hazards and maintaining a safe facility will prevent accidental releases from occurring."

In March 2014, the U.S. Coast Guard and EPA responded when BP discharged up to 39 barrels of oil into Lake Michigan. The Coast Guard previously assessed a penalty of $2,000 against BP for the spill.

Following the oil spill, EPA launched a thorough investigation of environmental compliance at BP’s Whiting refinery. EPA found that BP failed to implement its spill prevention, control and countermeasure plan, and failed to provide appropriate containment to prevent a discharge of oil. BP has agreed to update its plan and pay a $151,899 civil penalty to resolve these alleged violations.

EPA also found that BP exceeded the limits of its wastewater discharge permit in April and November of 2011. BP has agreed to install new monitoring equipment, implement an inspection and cleaning schedule for a wastewater treatment device, and enhance stormwater controls and inspections to prevent unauthorized discharges. BP has also agreed to pay a $74,212 civil penalty to resolve these alleged violations.

BP also agreed to implement enhanced procedures when installing equipment at the refinery and pay a $50,313 civil penalty to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act’s chemical accident prevention requirements.

Source: EPA

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