Chesterton Tribune

State regulators reversing progress on cleaning up Lake Michigan

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Voice of the People

Our Congressman Pete Visclosky has been able to procure $45 million of taxpayers money to help pay for the cleanup of some of our lakefront and waterways. The cleanup of our industrial past is long overdue and I applaud the Congressman for his efforts.

However, while he is working to correct the sins of the past, our state is allowing another industrial giant to pollute our fresh water supply.

This week we find that ringmaster Daniels and his circus clowns at I.D.E.M. are not just allowing B.P. to continue with the polluting our lake, but are actually allowing them to increase the amount they can dump into the lake each day! It seems like the taxpayers are paying B.P. to poison us.

If you ask anyone who has worked at B.P., they will tell you that their waste water treatment facility is antiquated and inadequate. The smallest amount of rainfall causes major problems for them. Toxic releases into the lake are common.

The B.P. refinery in Whiting is planning a $3.6 billion expansion to process Canadian sandy crude oil. This is a lot of money. Remember though, this company has been making record profits, as high as many $ billions, each quarter for the last few years. Their $3.6 billion dollar expansion does not include improving the water treatment plant.

The expansion will mean hundreds of construction jobs, a bigger tax base and 80 permanent jobs. These are all good things, but at what cost? I believe that if they are willing to invest that kind of money in the Whiting refinery, they should be made to expand and improve their pollution controls. They need to be polluting less not more.

Unless we are willing to learn to drink gasoline and water our gardens in Canadian crude, we must demand of our representatives to pull the permit on this expansion until B.P. can control the amount of pollutants they dump into our environment.

Contact your representatives, call the Statehouse or I.D.E.M.

There is only ONE Lake Michigan. Donít allow B.P. to poison it.

Kevin Cornett

 

Posted 7/19/2007