Tuesday, July 31, 2007
More crap in the Great Lakes
Even though this is ostensibly a Lake Superior oriented site, I thought I'd pass on some Lake Michigan news. Looks like the big BP refinery in Indiana got a permit to discharge a total of 1,584 pounds of ammonia and 4,925 pounds of 'suspended solids' into Lake Michigan each and every DAY. Indiana Gov Mitch "Jobs, jobs, jobs" Daniels claims that lots of new jobs will be created and that the discharge amount is stricter than federal EPA requirements. The refinery was built in 1889 by Standard Oil and old John D. Rockefeller himself.
Here is the link to the New York Times story.
Even the US Congress, a body not renowned for its proactive zeal and common sense, has approved a resolution urging Indiana to reconsider the permit. That is a permit to dump 3 plus tons of crap into Lake Michigan every day. Hmmmmm........I remember the battle a few decades back with Reserve Mining and dumping taconite tailings into Lake Superior. Jobs was the big issue there also. Pretty short sighted in my opinion. I wonder how far we've progressed on issues like this since 1975? And what is the EPA standard for how many tons of crap a manufacturer can dump into the lakes, if indeed the Indiana permit for "only" 6 tons is more restrictive?? I can only hope that Illinios, Michigan, the Feds, the Great Lakes Commission, and other interested parties (this thing smells like a lawsuit) are able to persuade Indiana to rescind this crazy permit. The other thing, of course, would be to reduce the demand for gas. Number One son's company, Planet Bike, just accepted an award from Mayor Daley in Chicago for bicycle advocacy and its accompanying green philosophy. Grassroots work like this can help alleviate the need for more refineries (and iron ore processors) dumping more crap into the Great Lakes. Lets try to paddle smart as well as live smart.