NATIONAL NEWS

BP subsidiary agrees to record $40M penalty and pollution-cutting steps at Lake Michigan refinery

May 17, 2023, 10:20 AM

FILE - The BP Whiting refinery in East Chicago, Ind., stands on Sept. 21, 2017. A BP subsidiary wil...

FILE - The BP Whiting refinery in East Chicago, Ind., stands on Sept. 21, 2017. A BP subsidiary will pay a $40 million penalty and install technology to control releases of benzene and other contaminants at its Whiting oil refinery on the Indiana shoreline of Lake Michigan, Biden administration officials said Wednesday, May 17, 2023. (DroneBase via AP, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(DroneBase via AP, File)

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) —

A BP subsidiary will pay a $40 million penalty and install technology to control releases of benzene and other contaminants at its Whiting oil refinery on the Indiana shoreline of Lake Michigan, Biden administration officials said Wednesday.

The actions will settle a civil case against BP Products North America Inc. filed by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency, which described the penalty as the largest ever under the Clean Air Act for pollution from a structure. Additionally, the company will invest around $197 million in improvements.

“This settlement will result in the reduction of hundreds of tons of harmful air pollution a year, which means cleaner, healthier air for local communities,” said Larry Starfield, acting assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.

The 134-year-old refinery, located between Hammond, Indiana, and Chicago, is the biggest in the U.S. Midwest and sixth largest nationally. It processes about 440,000 barrels of crude oil daily, making a variety of liquid fuels and asphalt.

It has a record of pollution rule violations, reaching settlements in 2019 and 2022 over releases of sooty “particulate matter” linked to asthma and other respiratory diseases.

A new federal complaint accused the BP unit of breaking rules limiting benzene in refinery wastewater streams and emissions of hazardous and volatile air contaminants.

Under the agreement, the company will add benzene stripping equipment and take other steps intended to reduce annually reductions of cancer-causing benzene along with hundreds of tons of other pollutants.

BP also will set up 10 stations to monitor air quality outside the refinery property.

The control measures “will greatly improve air quality and reduce health impacts on the overburdened communities that surround the facility,” said Todd Kim, assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division.

The settlement requires court approval after a public comment period.

“With this new agreement, we are committing to additional, robust steps — including significant capital investments — to monitor and mitigate wastewater emissions at Whiting Refinery,” BP spokesperson Christina Audisho said in a statement.

The improvements will be made “over the next several years,” Audisho said.

National News

Associated Press

2024 Election Latest: Biden campaign faces crucial moment, Republicans laud Trump’s RNC performance

President Joe Biden is facing the stark reality that many Democrats at the highest levels want him to consider how stepping aside from the 2024 election to make way for a new nominee atop the ticket could be the party’s best chance of preventing widespread losses in November. It’s a pivotal few days for the […]

43 minutes ago

Associated Press

Republicans emerge from their convention thrilled with Trump and talking about a blowout victory

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The last time Republicans gathered for a full convention, they were plagued by internal division and fear. Morale was near rock bottom. And the party’s presidential nominee showed little desire, or capacity, to add new voters to his political coalition. What a difference eight years make. The Republican officials, strategists and activists […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Internet outage latest | Airlines, businesses hit by global technology disruption

An internet outage affecting Microsoft is disrupting flights, banks, media outlets and companies across the world, with problems continuing hours after the technology company said it was gradually fixing an issue affecting access to Microsoft 365 apps and services. Airlines in the United States, Europe, Australia and India were reporting problems, with some flights grounded. […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Stock market today: Asian shares sink, weighed down by Wall St tech retreat, China policy questions

Asian shares retreated Friday after a broad washout across Wall Street dragged U.S. stocks lower, and Hong Kong’s benchmark dipped more than 2% as investors remained wary over China’s plans for helping its ailing property sector. U.S. futures rose while oil prices declined. Chinese officials briefed reporters in Beijing on the outcome of a top-level […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

FACT FOCUS: A look at claims made at the Republican National Convention as Trump accepts nomination

As former President Donald Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination on Thursday he laid out his vision for running the country. He painted a dire picture of the state of the U.S. and outlined a range of actions he planned to take. But his comments were marked with a myriad of false and misleading information […]

6 hours ago

New York Yankees' Aaron Judge walks to first base during the fifth inning of a baseball game agains...

Associated Press

Judge and Ohtani are the MVP favorites, but there’s plenty of time left in baseball’s award races

Aaron Judge and Shohei Ohtani are the front-runners for baseball’s MVP awards, according to the oddsmakers. It’s only the All-Star break, but one or two clear favorites have emerged for several of the game’s top honors. With play set to resume again Friday, here’s a look at what the betting lines have to say, courtesy […]

6 hours ago

BP subsidiary agrees to record $40M penalty and pollution-cutting steps at Lake Michigan refinery