BP will pay an $8 million fine to the federal government and spend $400 million dollars upgrading a Whiting, Indiana refinery that was responsible for emitting noxious air pollution. Federal regulators accused the company of violating a 2001 legal agreement to lessen air pollution at the refinery; the company was also cited for frequent plant flare malfunctions that resulted in repeated emissions of harmful chemicals, far in excess of allowable safety regulations.
As part of the settlement, BP also agreed to dramatically reduce flaring at the heavy crude oil refinery by capturing the majority of pressurized gases and operating flares more efficiently. A new emissions cap will be enforced on the refinery, resulting in an expected annual reduction of dangerous benzene, toluene and hydrogen sulfide emissions of about 4000 tons. BP must also install pollution monitors on each side of the Whiting refinery; the devices' findings will be posted online each week, so that neighboring citizens will be made aware of any pollution coming towards their homes. Susan Hedman, top Midwest official for the Environmental Protection Agency said, "This ground-breaking settlement will resolve a number of problems at the Whiting refinery that have negatively impacted the health of people in the surrounding area. It also sets a new standard for refineries throughout the country."
Too many plants and refineries in this country spew toxic emissions into the air with little regard for effects on public health. Settlements such as these hold polluters accountable and help reduce the amount of toxic substances in the environment. If you or a loved one has been harmed by emissions from polluting industrial businesses, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact a personal injury attorney from Arnold & Itkin today for a free consultation.