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03 Aug

Tell the EPA to keep BP’s toxic mercury out of Lake Michigan


Organize by CREDO

Take a stand for Lake Michigan: Tell the EPA to keep BP’s toxic mercury out of Lake Michigan

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Dear The McGlynn

I started my own campaign on CREDO’s new site that allows activists to start their own petitions.My petition, which is to Susan Hedman, administrator for the EPA’s Region 5 Office in Chicago, asks the following:

Enforce federal regulations on the disposal of mercury-laden wastewater at the BP refinery in Whiting, Indiana.

Instead of enforcing federal regulations on mercury disposal, Indiana has given BP an exemption that is threatening the health and well-being of over 10 million people who receive their water supply from Lake Michigan.

As reported by the Chicago Tribune, Indiana gave BP’s newly expanded refinery in Whiting, Indiana–which is now one of the largest in the country–until 2012 to meet federal limitations on mercury disposal, but BP failed to comply. Federal standards limit mercury discharge to 8/100ths of a pound annually, but state and federal records show that the BP refinery has discharged between one-10th of a pound and 2 pounds of mercury into Lake Michigan every year since 2005.

Millions of residents of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin as well as tourists receive drinking water from Lake Michigan, and countless more use the lake for fishing, water sports, and swimming. Mercury contamination is already a known and dangerous reality in many of the fish in the Great Lakes. Consuming fish contaminated by mercury can be damaging for developing brains and nervous systems in infants and young children, and can cause neurological issues in adults.

The millions of people who rely on Lake Michigan for drinking water can’t wait for Indiana regulators to take action. The recent waiver Indiana regulators gave to BP shows that they are unwilling to enforce federal law, and that’s why we must demand the federal Environmental Protection Agency take action now. Executives at BP are counting on their mercury pollution problem remaining a local issue they can strong-arm Indiana’s regulators into ignoring. But if enough of us make this a regional and national issue rather than just a state issue, we can beat back BP’s pollution together.

Click here to learn more and add your name to my petition to Susan Hedman, the EPA’s Region 5 administrator in Chicago, to demand she intervene and end Indiana’s mercury dumping exceptions for BP.

Thank you for your support.

Courtney Hoekstra

Sign the petition ?

Why is this important?

As reported by the Chicago Tribune, Indiana gave BP’s newly expanded refinery in Whiting, IN–which is now one of the largest in the country–until 2012 to meet federal limitations on mercury disposal, but BP failed to reach that deadline. Instead of enforcing federal regulations, Indiana has given BP an exemption.

The exemption given to BP is threatening the health and well-being of over 10 million people as well as the fish living in the waters of Lake Michigan.

According to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, Lake Michigan provides fresh drinking water for millions of people lake-wide. Countless residents of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin as well as tourists celebrate and enjoy Lake Michigan, using it for fishing, water sports, and swimming.

Mercury is a harmful metal that collects in the water and becomes dangerous to humans. Mercury contamination is already a known and dangerous reality in many of the fish in the Great Lakes. Consumption of mercury can be damaging for developing brains and nervous systems in infants and young children, and can cause neurological issues in adults.

State and federal records show that the BP refinery discharged between one-tenth of a pound and 2 pounds of mercury into Lake Michigan every year since 2005. Federal standards limit mercury discharge to 8/100ths of a pound annually.

The millions of people who live in the other states around Lake Michigan can’t wait for Indiana regulators to take action. The recent waiver Indiana regulators gave to BP shows that they are unwilling to enforce federal law, and that’s why we must demand the federal Environmental Protection Agency take action now. Executives at BP are counting on regulation of their pollution remaining a local issue they can strong-arm their way out of. But if enough of us make this a regional and national issue rather than just a state issue, we can beat back BP pollution together.

REFERENCES:

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-06-23/news/ct-met-bp-mercury-20130623_1_bp-refinery-whiting-refinery-oil-company-bp
http://www.southbendtribune.com/news/opinion/article_93d98a26-e6f8-11e2-be81-001a4bcf6878.html
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-07-01/opinion/ct-edit-bp-20130701_1_indiana-regulators-mercury-refinery
http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20130630/EDIT07/306309975/1147/EDIT07

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