BP Whiting Refinery discharges waste into Lake Michigan

An oil refinery in Whiting Ind. is seen Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2007. Oil prices stalled in their climb toward $100 a barrel Wednesday after a government report said oil inventories fell less than expected last week while refinery utilization remained flat. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

WHITING, Ind. (AP) — An operational issue has caused BP’s large northern Indiana refinery near the southern shore of Lake Michigan to discharge about five times more industrial waste into the lake than allowed.

The Times of Northwest Indiana reports that the refinery has been dealing with the problem at its wastewater treatment plant since Friday.

The company told the Indiana Department of Environmental Management that it discharged more than 8,900 pounds of total suspended solids Monday. It’s allowed to discharge nearly 5,700 pounds per day.

BP discovered in another test Tuesday that the total suspended solids discharged rose to more than 26,600 pounds.

BP spokesman Michael Abendhoff says the discharge involved wastewater solids, not hydrocarbons. He says the company is working to return the refinery to normal operations as soon as possibl

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