Either from their greenwashing efforts or simply the fact that they’re not Exxon-Mobil, I’ve generally thought favorably of BP as an energy company. That didn’t keep me from signing on to the Environment Illinois petition to get Illinois state representatives to take action against increases in BP’s dumping of industrial waste into Lake Michigan, which happens to be the source of my drinking water. Granted, the chances are vanishingly small that any significant traces of this industrial waste from Indiana will ever reach the Highland Park water intake pumps to affect me personally, but I believe that the pollution of shared commons must be minimized and individual actors held accountable in order to protect the public good.
Countering years of work to clean up the Great Lakes, Indiana’s Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) permitted BP to greatly expand toxic dumping from its Whiting, Indiana oil refinery–located just three miles from Illinois. The permit allows BP to dump 1500 pounds of ammonia and nearly 5,000 pounds of industrial sludge, laced with mercury and other heavy metals, daily into Lake Michigan.
It’s been years since any company was allowed to increase dumping in Lake Michigan. For the sake of the Lake’s fragile ecosystem and the 3 million Illinoisans whose drink Lake water, we urge you to speak out on this issue. Please contact U.S. EPA’s Region 5 Administrator, Mary Gade, and urge EPA to step in, withdraw the exemptions, and hold BP to its professed environmental standards.