Indiana Gov. Defends Process for BP Whiting
August 31, 2007
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels went to bat last week for BP and state
inspectors in the face of withering criticism of the company's plans
to increase the amounts of ammonia and other pollutants it
discharges into Lake Michigan from the Whiting refinery.
Meeting with the Post-Tribune's editorial board, Daniels also
voiced deep skepticism with environmentalists' statements that they
were not properly notified of BP's permit application.
"Horsefeathers," Daniels said of the Alliance for the Great
Lakes' argument that state law was violated. "It's all very
statutory, the same process that has been followed in permits
The alliance has asked the state to reopen the appeals period for
the BP permit based on its arguments about notification.
BP's proposal faced a rigorous two-year vetting by the Indiana
Department of Environmental Management, according to the governor,
and met state standards he insisted should make Hoosiers proud.
"IDEM put BP through the ringer for a couple years. It was not a
rubber stamp process," Daniels said. "Somebody needs to say this was
a decision made based on the facts and science, in good faith."
Nonetheless, the governor acknowledged it may be in the company's
best interest to simply find a way to address the charges being
leveled by U.S. congressmen, grassroots protesters and others.
"I have urged (BP) to look for whatever additional steps they
might take," Daniels said. "And by the way, whether or not it makes
any difference whatsoever, which I suspect it won't, it will be for
(public relations) purposes most likely, as opposed to any
detectable difference in the water quality."
Daniels blasted officials from neighboring states, who he said
have criticized the BP permit while companies in their back yards
discharge higher levels of pollution into the Great Lakes.
U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and U.S. Rep. Rahm Emmanuel, D-
Ill., have led a loud chorus of regional voices against the BP
"It's a bit disingenuous, to say the least, to have all these
rocks thrown at Indiana, when Chicago puts 50 times the very same
effluent in the water," Daniels said.
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