Indiana Allows Increased Pollution of Lake Michigan

From those of us who live near Lake Michigan: thanks a heap, Indiana.

Indiana regulators exempted BP from state environmental laws to clear the way for a $3.8 billion expansion that will allow the company to refine heavier Canadian crude oil. They justified the move in part by noting the project will create 80 new jobs.

Under BP's new state water permit, the refinery—already one of the largest polluters along the Great Lakes—can release 54 percent more ammonia and 35 percent more sludge into Lake Michigan each day. Ammonia promotes algae blooms that can kill fish, while sludge is full of concentrated heavy metals.

This is not a comforting admission:

[Paul Higginbotham, chief of the water permits section at the Indiana Department of Environmental Management] said regulators still are unsure about the ecological effects of the relatively new refining process BP plans to use.

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  • Display: Sort:
    dirty water from Indiana (none / 0) (#1)
    by LizDexic on Sat Jul 14, 2007 at 09:00:46 PM EST
    I live in Evanston IL, six blocks from the lake and I go down there most every day with my dog. I've observed that when the water is warm, it's dirty (most probably from Indiana) and when it's cold it's clean (most probably from Michigan.)

    One day a couple of weeks ago, there was this lime green foam all along the shore...scary and disgusting. Also disturbing to think that our drinking water comes from there.

    Many years ago it was common knowledge that if someone could take a sample of polluted water from our waterways and trace it to where it was being spewed from, the US attorney would file suit and the person who brought it to their attention could share in a percentage of the fine against the polluter.
    Do you think that could be the case now? Or would the Republican US attorneys just not care?

    ...scary and disgusting. (none / 0) (#2)
    by desertswine on Sun Jul 15, 2007 at 12:27:43 AM EST
    "Also disturbing to think that our drinking water comes from there."

    Sometimes it seems so hopeless.

    Part of the reason.... (none / 0) (#3)
    by kdog on Sun Jul 15, 2007 at 12:36:50 PM EST
    I used to believe in the state was the need to protect us all from such industrial pollution.  My eyes are slowly opening to the fact that state regulations to prevent or reduce industrial pollution are totally ineffective or worse, they may in fact encourage pollution deemed "legal" or "acceptable" by the corrupted state and their benefactor, big business.  

    Libertarians believe tort law is all that is necessary to discourage/prevent pollution. As long as every citizen has the right to sue a polluter when they have been injured, there is no need for lax regulations practically written by the very companies they are being regulated, and codifying into law the "legal" poisoning of our enviroment.  As far as I know, an injured party cannot sue a polluter if the polluter meets the state regulations....so what good are the regulations?  

    As you may have guessed, I've been doing some reading on libertarian/anarchist principles...eye-opening stuff if you can keep an open mind.