BP Products North America Inc. has agreed to a settlement to resolve alleged water and air violations at its Whiting petroleum refinery, which require the company to pay penalties of $275,000 and further reduce pollution.
The agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said the company has agreed to take steps to reduce an estimated 23,500 pounds of pollution annually from its Whiting Refinery to resolve the alleged violations of the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act. The Whiting facility is the nation's sixth largest petroleum refinery, producing up to 430,000 barrels a day.
"Ensuring BP's compliance with the Clean Water Act is critical to protect Lake Michigan," acting EPA Regional Administrator Robert Kaplan said in a statement. "Identifying hazards and maintaining a safe facility will prevent accidental releases from occurring."
BP spokesman Mike Abendhoff said "BP is pleased to resolve the U.S. EPA claim under the Clean Air Act related to the March 2014 discharge at the Whiting Refinery and we remain committed to safe, reliable and compliant operations."
In March 2014, the U.S. Coast Guard and the EPA responded when BP discharged up to 39 barrels of oil into Lake Michigan. The Coast Guard previously assessed a $2,000 penalty against BP for the spill.
Following the spill, the EPA launched an investigation of environmental compliance at BP Whiting Refinery. According to the agency, BP failed to implement its spill prevention, control and countermeasure plan, and failed to provide appropriate containment to prevent a discharge of oil. BP has agreed to update its plan and pay a $151,899 civil penalty to resolve those alleged violations.
The agency also said it found that BP exceeded the limits of its wastewater discharge permit in April and November 2011. BP has agreed to install new monitoring equipment, implement an inspection and cleaning schedule for a wastewater treatment device and enhance stormwater controls and inspections to prevent unauthorized discharges. BP also has agreed to pay a $74,212 civil penalty to resolve these alleged violations.
The company also agreed to implement enhanced procedures when installing equipment at the refinery and pay a $50,313 civil penalty to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act's chemical accident prevention requirements.
The proposed consent orders and final orders are subject to a 40-day public comment period.
Visit: https://www.epa.gov/publicnotices/public-notice-cwa-05-2016-0014-bp-products-north-america-inc and https://www.epa.gov/publicnotices/public-notice-cwa-05-2016-0015-bp-products-north-america-inc
for more information.