WHITING, Ind. – BP Products North America Inc. has agreed to install $400 million in new air pollution controls at its northwestern Indiana oil refinery and pay an $8 million fine under a deal announced Wednesday with the government and environmental groups.
BP’s refinery in Whiting, about 20 miles southeast of Chicago is undergoing a $3.8 billion expansion that is due to open next year. BP has said the expanded refinery would be the nation’s top processor of heavy high-sulfur Canadian crude oil, boosting its annual production of gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel by 15 percent to about 4.7 billion gallons annually. Although the EPA initially approved the expansion, it later filed Clean Air Act violations against the oil giant. The Justice Department and the EPA also allege the expansion violated a 2001 consent decree.
The settlement imposes some of the lowest emission limits in refinery settlements to date. BP agreed to a new system to reduce the flaring of refinery gas, new controls and practices to lower emissions throughout the refinery, enhance controls on wastewater containing benzene and other environmental upgrades designed to reduce harmful air pollution by about 4,000 tons annually. It also requires the refinery to spend $9.5 million on projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. BP will also install equipment to monitor emissions of benzene, sulfur dioxide and other pollutants and to post the data online.