WHITING | The BP Whiting Refinery is giving 10 Lake County organizations grants they can use to reduce emissions, such as by using alternative fuels.
Refinery leaders, South Shore Clean Cities Inc. and environmental groups will announce Wednesday how they divvied up $450,000 from BP's Cleaner Air through Diesel Emission Reductions program. They will notify the recipients at 10 a.m. in the auditorium of the Indiana Welcome Center, 7770 Corinne Drive, Hammond.
"This is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the exciting diesel emission projects that will result from the BP-CADER grant program," said Carl Lisek, executive director for South Shore Clean Cities.
Lake County municipalities, schools and nonprofit hospitals will get grant money for various projects aimed at improving air quality.
"The goal of the program was to maximize air quality improvement," said communications manager Donna George. "There's an emphasis on the public health benefits."
The London-based multinational energy giant decided to offer the grant money as the result of an agreement with environmental groups.
"BP is pleased to partner with South Shore Clean Cities and the Indiana Sierra Club on this emissions reductions program," said Tom Keilman, director of government and community relations at BP Whiting.
South Shore Clean Cities, a government/industry partnership, designed and administered the grant.
"The thing that made it unique is that we first determined what the greatest needs were," George said. "We tried to fulfill those needs because there's no one-size-fits-all when it comes to emission reduction."
The nonprofit also was able to use the $450,000 from BP to leverage additional grant funding, George said. The matching grants will be announced Wednesday.
Clean Cities aims to reduce petroleum consumption by promoting alternative fuels, fuel economy, idle reduction technology, and hybrid or electric vehicles. The U.S. Department of Energy sponsors the group, which aims to reduce the country's dependence on imported oil.
Sierra Club, Save the Dunes, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Hoosier Environmental Council, the Environmental Law and Policy Center, the Environmental Integrity Project and private citizens teamed up with Clean Cities for the program.