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Indiana Allows BP To Pollute Lake Michigan 490

Posted by kdawson
from the because-we-can dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Indiana regulators exempted BP from state environmental laws to clear the way for a $3.8 billion expansion that will allow the company to refine heavier Canadian crude oil. They justified the move in part by noting the project will create 80 new jobs. The company will now be allowed to dump an average of 1,584 pounds of ammonia and 4,925 pounds of sludge into Lake Michigan every day."
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Indiana Allows BP To Pollute Lake Michigan

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  • by yincrash (854885)
    The Great Lakes were never that great to begin with, but that's just gross.
  • by solar_blitz (1088029) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @03:53PM (#19861669)
    80 jobs.
    6500 lbs of waste each day.
    The environment.
    Priceless.

    There are some things money can't buy...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      For everything else there's Government Abuse.
    • Re:Is it worth it? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by WIAKywbfatw (307557) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @04:04PM (#19861791) Journal
      ...and local government in the state of Indiana isn't one of them.

      This is ridiculous. A $3.8 billion expansion and they can't afford to clean up the mess that they're creating?

      At which point will the Indiana legislators start realising that their duty is to all the people of Indiana, not just the few that work for BP?

      I bet if you asked people if they would want their laws bent or even waived to allow a polluter to pollute their water even more that 99 percent of them would say no. So how the hell does the Indiana Department of Environmental Management have the balls to try to justify and defend their decision?

      What's next? Indiana cops giving drug dealers the green light to push crack in schools?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mi (197448)

        A $3.8 billion expansion and they can't afford to clean up the mess that they're creating?

        Cleaning completely is not possible. There may be one or three people on the entire Slashdot, who know, what can and can not be done with this waste... The rest are just venting.

        The article's numbers are weird. They assert, the amount of "industrial sludge" will increase by 35% (non-toxic ammonia by even more), but the refinery's output — by only 15%.

        It would seem, they are better of allowing another refine

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by hardburn (141468)

          We all want "energy independence", but the sales of big SUVs are only growing.

          The linked article is a load of crock. For instance:

          The bigger the guzzler, the better the numbers. Sales of GMC's Yukon XL were up a whopping 72 percent last month, and the totals for its Chevrolet sister, the Suburban, rose 38 percent. Topping off the tank on either one can cost as much as $120.

          They costs so much to fill up because they have a 31 gallon fuel tank [gmbuypower.com]. That has no direct relation on gas-guzzler status. Its

        • by kelleher (29528)

          There is hope -- if the Republican candidates agreed with each other on anything during their most recent TV-debate, it was that we need to build (much) more nuclear stations. That should ease the strain considerably...

          I'm sorry, maybe I'm a missing something, but could you explain how building more nuclear reactors will reduce oil consumption? Oil is used to generate less than 5% of the electricity in the U.S. I think one of us is a little confused....

          And please don't think I'm against nuclear power - I'm a fan and believe it has the potential to be a lot cleaner than coal - but I'm getting tired of people incorrectly using oil independence as an argument for it's use.

          • An explanation... (Score:4, Insightful)

            by shmlco (594907) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @11:29PM (#19864517) Homepage
            "...could you explain how building more nuclear reactors will reduce oil consumption?"

            By powering electric cars and other PHEVs? Allowing the expansion of light rail? Allowing more homes to convert from fuel oil to electric heating? Providing the power needed to make hydrogen? Powering other conversion industries (ethanol, biodiesel, shale, etc.)

            In short, you have to think about not just the power industry, but also about all of the things said industry could power...

            "I think one of us is a little confused...."

            Hope that helped end your confusion...

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by piper-noiter (772438)

        I'm a citizen of Indiana and I was furious when I read it in the paper this morning. A measly eighty jobs in exchange for further ruining of our lake front! It's unconscionable. Our free lake front swimming is one of our state treasures. Miles of sand, trails, and surf.

        That said, I imagine there was a lot of pressure on the state legislatures at a federal level. They see it as a chance to decrease Middle Eastern dependence. The whole idea makes me furious.

        • by SirGeek (120712)

          That said, I imagine there was a lot of pressure on the state legislatures at a federal level. They see it as a chance to decrease Middle Eastern dependence. The whole idea makes me furious.

          Then stop allowing the US oil companies to sell their oil anywhere but the US. They are making their moneys (if my memory serves me correctly) by selling a huge chunk of oil to Japan, etc.

          Since they can charge all sorts of costs for transportation to the other countires that they can't charge here.

      • Re:Is it worth it? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by SeaFox (739806) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @05:18PM (#19862331)

        This is ridiculous. A $3.8 billion expansion and they can't afford to clean up the mess that they're creating?

        At which point will the Indiana legislators start realising that their duty is to all the people of Indiana, not just the few that work for BP?


        Don't be silly. The current politicians aren't worried in the least about this issue. By the time cleanup becomes a concern for them, they'll all have different jobs.
      • Re:Is it worth it? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by shma (863063) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @06:50PM (#19862915)
        What's next? Indiana cops giving drug dealers the green light to push crack in schools?

        If there was a big enough crack lobby, it would be sold in a vending machine next to the school cafeteria.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by TheRaven64 (641858)
          Big enough would be have to be really big though, because the tobacco lobby pushes hard against anything that's more addictive than nicotine.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by roman_mir (125474)
          oh, there is a huge lobby, it started the war on drugs. Pushes the prices sky high...
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Tuoqui (1091447)
        I bet if you asked people if they would want their laws bent or even waived to allow a polluter to pollute their water even more that 99 percent of them would say no. So how the hell does the Indiana Department of Environmental Management have the balls to try to justify and defend their decision?

        They dont have balls, thats why they let it happen in the first place. Corporate America has taken the testicles of the politicians and got them in a vice like grip.
    • Re:Is it worth it? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by dfenstrate (202098) <dfenstrate&gmail,com> on Saturday July 14, 2007 @08:48PM (#19863701)
      A relevant part of the question is this: What is the flow rate/water turnover rate in lake michigan?

      The lake is over 1,000 cubic miles of water, so even if the water was stagnant it would take a long time to raise the PPM of the discharge to a harmful level, assuming good mixing (yes, yes, assumptions make an ass out of you and me, blah blah blah).

      If the flow rate through the lake is several million gallons a day then this discharge could be diluted to the point of irrelevance, and it probably is.

      Now you'd want to take into account other man made discharges into the lake, but these are the questions you ask to determine if this actually causes any harm. What I described is pretty much what the state and national EPA does for these sorts of things.

      The fact is that human activity has an impact on the environment. Given that, the pragmatic question is how much can mother nature "take for the team." The answer? some, definately, without causing any harm.

      It's an old maxim- the dose makes the poison. You can put bad stuff into something you want to preserve without causing harm.
      Now I will admit I don't know enough about ocean and freshwater chemistry to know where to even start figuring out the ultimate disposition of the dumped products. I am guessing, however, that somebody who works for the EPA and is involved in the permiting process has a decent idea of how that all works.

      The power plant I work at frequently discharges water with various chemical adultrents into the atlantic ocean at up to 100 gallons per minute. That discharge, however, is diluted by 420,000 gpm of straight sea water used for cooling, and then mixed in well below the surface a mile offshore.

      What could you safely drink if it was diluted to 1 part per 4,200 parts? sulfuric acid? Antifreeze? Drano? All of the above?

      (pardon the shitty writing, I'm tired & about to go to bed)
  • Great (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wolfgang_spangler (40539) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @03:54PM (#19861681) Homepage
    We already can eat only a limited amount of fish that come from the Great Lakes, how about we just dump more heavy metals into the lakes. Garg.

    It is very frustrating that the federal government refuses to do things to protect the Great Lakes. Heck, they even refuse to stop ships from wherever from coming in and dumping bilge water contaminated with all sorts of invasive species into the lakes. These resources must be protected.

    Look at what invasive species such as the emerald ash borer have done to MI and other surrounding states. When we people learn?

    -Andrew
  • If it's good for the canadians then it must be ok.
    • If it's good for the canadians then it must be ok.
      It's good for Alberta, it's bad for the Canadians out east who'll be getting the flow from the polluted lake.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by pokerdad (1124121)

        It's good for Alberta,

        Ironically this deal and others like it have gotten an enormous amount of bad press in Alberta - you'd think we'd be happy to export this crap, but the local media can only see the $$$ lost in not refining it ourselves.

  • by ClaraBow (212734) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @03:56PM (#19861709)
    Well I live in Indiana, a state that has seen a lot of industrial job lost due to NAFTA and a general decline in U.S. auto manufacturing. So the state is doing everything possible to get jobs backs. Unfortunately, they are doing it at the cost of the environment. This is what happens when we open markets and start competing with 3rd world countries. We have to relax our standards so that we can win contracts from multinationals. The only winners are the corporations.
    • by zig007 (1097227) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @04:12PM (#19861845)
      Well, regulating markets is financial suicide in the long run, so you can't keep them(the regulations) forever.
      At some point you must open up(when it will cost too much), and if you wait for too long, your industry will be dangerously uncompetitive due to a long time lack of..yes, competition.
      This has already happened to your steel and car industry. Probably others as well. Wasn't paper hit as well?

      Wouldn't a better way be to legislate that all fuel(this may of course be applied to other goods) sold in the U.S. must have been produced using methods that meet certain environmental and humanitarian requirements? Like the ones in the U.S.?

      This would level the field in a kind of fair way. Sort of. Don't you think?
      • by ClaraBow (212734)

        Wouldn't a better way be to legislate that all fuel(this may of course be applied to other goods) sold in the U.S. must have been produced using methods that meet certain environmental and humanitarian requirements? Like the ones in the U.S.?

        You make a great point here. What I was trying to say is that if the 3rd world countries aren't forced to raise their standards, than we are going to be forced to lower ours in order to compete, which is bad for our country and environment. It's a big problem that just keeps getting bigger and the only people that seem to be above it is the multinational corporations which are using their advantage to get what they want from whatever country that gives it to them.

        • by John3 (85454)
          Government could require that any product imported be made using the same environmental standards as required in the states. We already restrict import of products from endangered species...ivory tusks for example. If the US banned imports of materials made in plants that violate US EPA standards then that would put pressure on the corporations to raise the standards overseas.

          It's a dream of course. :(
          • by cdrguru (88047)
            But then we would be interfering with other nation's soverign rights to do things the way they want to. The WTO would hardly allow a tariff to be introduced that blocked trade based on environmental or wage standards, so it isn't going to happen.

            How do Japan and China work around this? They decided they don't care if anyone imports stuff to them at all and nobody can refuse to buy their stuff. The US, on the other hand, is prett dependent on keeping some kind of trade balance with EU and other countries.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by piper-noiter (772438)
          Nice theory, except, this new plant does meet all federal environmental standards. Even with such international trade regulation this plant, and worse, would still be legal.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by CodeBuster (516420)
          What I was trying to say is that if the 3rd world countries aren't forced to raise their standards, than we are going to be forced to lower ours in order to compete, which is bad for our country and environment

          You speak as if lowering one's standards to compete was the obvious choice. If third world countries want certain jobs bad enough that they are willing to poison their children with heavy metals and dioxins to get them then I say let them. If that is what it takes to keep those jobs in the United
      • by MikShapi (681808)
        Maybe not fair, but at least in a morally defendable one, and one that serves as a positive force elsewhere (pulling countries like China UP - better human rights - rather than pushing the US down).
      • Well, regulating markets is financial suicide in the long run, so you can't keep them(the regulations) forever.

        That's just not true. One, you're equating regulated markets with protectionism (the latter being merely an extreme level of the former), and two, you certainly can keep those regulations in place forever. For that matter, you can refuse to trade with certain nations entirely, if such trade is detrimental to you. You've made the basic assumption that the global economy is good for everyone, and
    • by Scrameustache (459504) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @04:50PM (#19862139) Homepage Journal

      This is what happens when we open markets and start competing with 3rd world countries. We have to relax our standards so that we can win contracts from multinationals. The only winners are the corporations.
      The proper way to do this would have been to raise the standards elsewhere, rather than exploit them and then be forced to compete with their slave-wage standards.

      They key isn't to close up the borders in some protectionist ostrich stunt, but to demand high standards at home and abroad.
      But I guess very few people are interested on competing on a level playing field.
      • by cdrguru (88047)
        Unfortunately, those other nasty low-standards places are soverign nations. They don't like other people telling them what their rules should be.

        So we should just not trade with people with lower standards? That would be illegal now. Against the WTO practices. So it isn't likely to happen unless the rest of the world gets behind the idea.
    • Bullcrap (Score:5, Informative)

      by MosesJones (55544) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @06:06AM (#19865903) Homepage
      Seriously what a load of tosh. The idea that the US (the world's largest per-capita polluter by a mile) has had strong environmental laws that are being "weakened" due to competition is laughable. Auto-manufacturing is suffering due to from competition from... Japan (hardly "3rd world"). Canadians (NAFTA) have stronger environmental legislation than the US.

      Claiming environmental legislation is being weakened in the name of free trade is just rubbish. I'd bet pretty heavy money that had BP been building this plant in Sweden, or even across the lake in Canada, that they would have been subject to tighter environmental restrictions.

      Free trade generates jobs, its what made the USA the economy that it is. Economic protectionism is actually what is destroying the environment in the US, e.g. subsidising non-green corn for bio-fuel while punishing much cleaner Brazilian ethanol. Corporations always try and get away with things, governments should enforce things. Unfortunately in the US the environment is just an excuse for bad subsidies and anti-competitive behaviour rather than using the Free market to adopt solutions that are working elsewhere.

      Blame NAFTA, Blame Japan, Blame China. In fact Blame Canada... anything rather than admit the problem is rather closer to home.
  • by waspleg (316038) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @03:58PM (#19861733) Journal
    this is a red state people, they care about money, jesus, nascar and guns here; Mitch Daniels (current governor) is almost certainly behind this as he has been behind every other major retarded deal to net himself favor and money with the rich assholes here (aka selling out all our toll roads to foreign companies and contracting ot build new ones which they will own forever after paying some fee).

    this doesn't surprise in teh least, he's also behind the attempts to mirror new york's city wide smoking bans on virtually everything (hint: we have a fuck of a lot of smokers here, probably more than average, no i'm not one of them however i'm surprised that in a republican state where republicans are supposedly for less gov't involvement in everything shit like this flies every time)

    he's pro-roadblock checkpoints etc etc

    life in naptown sucks, anyone whose not from here is always trying to go back home and most of hte (smart?) people from here leave or try to (they're always bitching about the "brain drain" here, they actually think this will be some tech mecca and have been trying to cement that position for awhile now, HELLO Chicago ain't that far, but they dont' care)

    in addition to these they make no effort to keep the large manufacturing jobs open etc, and tout a handful of high level investment jobs as some massive coup that will save us all while thousands of people here get laid off who dont' have a degree and healthcare is virtually unavailable and gas prices continue to skyrocket well over national averages (which Daniel's shot down an investigation into, ps this is one of the only states in teh nation that had actual sanctions against gas stations post 9/11 because on that day some stations were selling gas at $5-7/gal for panic profit - while I'm sure GWB would approve some angry people somewhere did not.)

    this country sucks worse every day and this city (indianapolis) and the state are focused, concentrated microcosm.
    • by wolfgang_spangler (40539) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @04:12PM (#19861855) Homepage

      this is a red state people, they care about money, jesus, nascar and guns here;
      That is a pretty unfair assessment of "red state people". I think you will find that many, many "red state people" are more avid supporters of protections for the environment than many "blue state people" who generally reside in cities. Most of the "red state people" hunt, fish and enjoy spending time in the outdoors and don't want to see it sludged and destroyed.

      Some people, like the people who made this deal, aren't "red staters" or "blue staters" they are bastards looking out not for the people or the country or anyone else but themselves. That is who they care about.

      • by stinerman (812158)
        And, IIRC, the Indiana legislature is controlled by the Democrats. At the very least it was a few years ago, because my conservative stepfather was complaining them.
      • by Speare (84249) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @05:08PM (#19862251) Homepage Journal

        I dunno about that. In the city, I've never seen a rusting Chevy left to rot and leak oil in the yard for a decade. In the city, I've never seen people burning their own garbage out behind the shed, permits or not. In the city, I've never seen a barn that is just left to rot and collapse for a few winters, leaving a fire hazard that's filled with tetanus-risky nails and whatever else was in there.

        I understand what you're saying, and the city definitely has its own issues that aren't ideal, but saying that the folks in the countryside are all pure and proactive about saving the environment is not realistic.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by andy314159pi (787550)

        Some people, like the people who made this deal, aren't "red staters" or "blue staters"
        No that isn't accurate. Conservative lawmakers in Indiana are definitely "red staters" and in fact they really define what it means to be in a red state. "Red state" means that the politics tends to be conservative and the Republicans are in power, which is exactly what you have in Indiana. The "red state" / "blue state" arguments sound trite, but there is some truth to it.
      • by oneiron (716313)
        Most of the "red state people" hunt, fish and enjoy spending time in the outdoors and don't want to see it sludged and destroyed.

        Perhaps true, but unfortunately the politicians these 'red-state people' tend to vote for are the absolute last people that would lift a finger to protect these things.
    • Nothing new (Score:4, Interesting)

      by meburke (736645) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @04:30PM (#19861997)
      Sorry, it isn't whether the state is red or blue. The politicians are giving the voters what the voters ask for, and the voters have irrational wants. Every Democratic candidate runs on the promise of more jobs. (What would happen to the candidate who said, "Elect me and we will have the cleanest water in the world, even though it will cost us 100,000 jobs!"?) Some candidates run on "pro-business" platforms. Why? Because business brings "prosperity" (read "jobs") to the area. Same promise, different spin. All false.

      Here's an interesting little essay on "The Myth of the Rational Voter". WARNING!!!! Intelligence and open-mindedness required! http://www.cato-unbound.org/2006/11/06/bryan-capla n/the-myth-of-the-rational-voter/ [cato-unbound.org]
    • by piper-noiter (772438) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @06:35PM (#19862791) Journal

      Are you sure you pay attention to the politics of Indiana? We have one Republican and one Democratic senator, both of which lay pretty firmly in the 'moderate' sector. Our last Governor was Democrat, and some of our longest lasting Governors were also Democrats. Not to mention most state polls imply 'Our Man Mitch(R)' doesn't have a chance in hell of being re-elected as Governor.

      Meanwhile, a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage fell apart in the state senate this April, getting far more opposition than a similar ban did in Ohio (a flip state). I almost threw a party in celebration. The big-bad,evil, money-loving corporations stepped up and said they'd lose employees if they couldn't give rights to life partners. Thank goodness for Eli Lilly.

      Sure, I'll admit, we always vote Red on the Presidential Ballot, but thats just one aspect of our political topography, and it's certainly no reason to lump the politics and personality of our citizens into one giant red-neck cliche.

      Why do you feel the need to disparage and condone the state you live in? Considering you've never lived anywhere else, are you certain that these 'red state' sensibilities that you consider synonymous with blind idiocy aren't really just a product of human nature and aren't prevalent in all parts of the world?
      Anyway, since this is the internet, and we're suppose to be judgemental and insulting: Stop being a small-minded, angsty, prick, and try appreciating the world you live in for a change.

      Oh and I'm an Indiana, registered-republican moderate, female, pro-choice, pro-death penalty, broke, agnostic, college graduate, I hate Nascar and country music, and I'm so angry I could spit over this BP scandal, I love that lake. I didn't vote for Mitch the first time and I won't be doing it next time either.

  • by Statecraftsman (718862) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @04:03PM (#19861783) Homepage
    Finally some numbers. Let's see...that's 20 lbs of ammonia and 62 lbs of sludge per new job per day. Yup, sounds like a bargain alright.

    If I may, I'd just like to make one suggestion. Let's offer a free Hummer to any of those 80 workers who would like to take their share of waste products home each day.
  • by Aqua OS X (458522) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @04:12PM (#19861851)
    I think we're all forgetting that BP just re-branded themselves. Now their logo is a little green and yellow sunflower, they have pictures of plants and glaciers on their website, and they run commercials featuring environmentally conscious gen X folks. This obviously means BP cares about the environment. They're most likely dumping 4,925 pounds of organic compost into Lake Michigan every day.

    Are we supposed to assume BP's re-branding was a big PR stunt to make the public think they care about the environment? Phhs, No. If there is one thing I've learned, it's that energy company always have the best of intentions, even when they're shooting protesters from helicopter... shooting them with love.
  • by lancejjj (924211) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @04:14PM (#19861865) Homepage
    Um, I think I'll stop my family's summertime Lake Michigan vacations.

    The fact is that I don't think I want to boat, or have my kids play, in the water there.

    Sure, maybe it'll only be so many thousand tons of crud in a bazillion gallons of water. But if anyone in my family ever came down with any disease in the next 40 years, I'd certainly feel a bit guilty.
  • Why Dump Ammonia? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rlp (11898) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @04:14PM (#19861869)
    Ammonia is used as an industrial precursor. For instance it's used to make fertilizer. Why dump it in Lake Michigan rather than purifying and selling it?
    • by wolfgang_spangler (40539) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @04:24PM (#19861947) Homepage

      Ammonia is used as an industrial precursor. For instance it's used to make fertilizer. Why dump it in Lake Michigan rather than purifying and selling it?
      It is most likely cheaper.

      You make an excellent point however, turning it into a marketable product or at least partnering with someone who will would cost them a bit more than dumping, but make more sense from an environmental standpoint.

      Despite BP marketing and rebranding as a "green" company this shows all they are interested in. I understand companies are in business to make money, but don't lie to us telling me you care about the environment and then slap us in the face like this.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gfilion (80497)

      Ammonia is used as an industrial precursor. For instance it's used to make fertilizer. Why dump it in Lake Michigan rather than purifying and selling it?

      TFA says:

      State and federal regulators, though, agreed last month with the London-based company that there isn't enough room at the 1,400-acre site to upgrade the refinery's water treatment plant.

      It's a pretty lame argument, but I guess that they don't have enough space to put an ammonia purification plant either.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by cnettel (836611)
      To be fair, you can get a fair deal of fertilizer out of urban sewage processing as well, but there is one issue (although I guess it's quite different in different regions): a lot of farmers (or regulatory bodies) don't like the trace amounts of cadmium and so on you'll find in the otherwise biological waste. I would imagine that the ammonia from this process isn't magically concentrated and pure before it reaches the lake. Extraction and separation to get it pure enough to sell could possibly even turn ou
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mdsolar (1045926)
      Their daily wastewater stream is 21 million gallons, and they will now be allowed 1584 pounds/day of ammonia, a 54 percent increase. This makes ammonia 1 part in 100,000 by weight. So, you could do something about this with a good treatment facility, but it would be hard to concentrate the ammonia for sale. But, using the waste water to grow algae for biofuels could make financial sense http://mdsolar.blogspot.com/2007/02/photosynthesi s .html [blogspot.com]. They should have a pretty strong CO2 waste stream from the re
  • more than 80 Jobs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BrynM (217883) * on Saturday July 14, 2007 @04:15PM (#19861877) Homepage Journal

    In the long term, this will create more than 80 jobs by the time the lake becomes a giant superfund site (Hazmat jobs pay good money!). Of course, people may die from the pollution but that will only improve the jobless rate as well. Wildlife doesn't vote or contribute, so who cares if wildlife dies? C'mon, government only thinks of the long-term benefit for the people. Right?

    • by Duhavid (677874)
      And with the additional deaths, there will be additional demand for
      undertakers ( et al ) and ministers. Land prices will go up as
      cemeteries are built ( and don't forget those jobs either ).
      • by aquabat (724032)
        Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg: Why? What's wrong with me?

        Priest Vito Cornelius: I try to serve life. But you only... seem to want to destroy it.

        Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg: Oh, Father, you're so wrong. Let me explain. [closes office door, places an empty glass on desk]
        Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg: Life, which you so nobly serve, comes from destruction, disorder and chaos. Take this empty glass. Here it is, peaceful, serene and boring. But if it is... [pushes glass off table]
        Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg: des

  • by hey! (33014) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @04:19PM (#19861907) Homepage Journal
    for "Hall of Shame" states.

    Florida -- the Electoral Screwup State
    Kansas -- the Science Miseducation State
    Indiana -- the Environmental Rape State
  • A dirty lake to go with a dirty state.
  • by DragonPup (302885) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @04:24PM (#19861941)
    I wonder what Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois have to say about this hairbrained plan.

    • by banuk (148382)
      I know, Indiana has all of what? 30 miles of coastline? The state with the least amount of coastline/access to the lake has a say in what happens to the environment of the entire lake? ridiculous
  • The solution to pollution is dilution.
  • I'm sure that the neighboring states will have something to say about this.
    • I'm sure that the neighboring states will have something to say about this.

      Sadly MI won't have much impact, you know...that state SURROUNDED by the lakes? Due to our inept and self-serving "leadership" of Jenny Granholm. The same Gov who also lied about wanting to protect the lakes and then wrote Nestle a free pass to yoink a ridiculous amount of water out of the lakes and divert it to wherever they want.

      I don't know much about the gov of IN, but it sounds as if he/she is just as self-serving.

  • I was under the impression that there was some form of joint regulatory agency that basically said that we agreed not to piss in each others water supply....
  • by ewhac (5844) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @04:38PM (#19862073) Homepage Journal
    Okay, let's work this out. The State of Indiana is allowing the dumping of toxic crap into Lake Michigan in exchange for creating 80 jobs. Let's assume each created job has the unrealistically generous salary of $100K/year. Indiana's income tax rate is 3.4% flat. So that's $3400/year per worker, or $272K new tax revenue for the 80 jobs. The numbers get somewhat better if you take sales tax revenue into account (6%), but that's harder to quantify. Let's be generous and assume all the remaining after-tax dollars are spent in Indiana. So that's 100000 minus 3400 (state tax) minus 25000 (Fed tax and FICA) == 71600. 6% of that is $4296, times 80 is $343680. So the total new revenue to the state is a highly optimistic $615680 per year.

    If you're lucky, that gets you maybe ten new police officers. And something tells me it's going to cost more than $615K to clean up the crap being spilled in lake each year. Hell, the legal fees fighting off the complaints from Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan -- the other three states that share the lake -- could easily be ten times that.

    All in all, a dumbass move that makes absolutely no sense for the state whatsoever. I wonder who got bribed, and with how much?

    Schwab

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Upaut (670171)
      Mitch Daniels here, and I have to say that I am highly offended with this comment: "All in all, a dumbass move that makes absolutely no sense for the state whatsoever. I wonder who got bribed, and with how much? "

      I have you know that I have never, and will never, accept a bribe. Even one that only affects the enviorment, which we all know will be gone in five years when the rapture comes...

      Now I am afraid I must go buff my solid gold Bently. You would not believe the amount of dings and scratches it
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by demachina (71715)
      I'll probably get filleted for this but I think the slant being put on this by both the submitter and everything I read here is leaving one important point out. The Midwest especially Indiana and Iowa is critically short of refining capacity, and doesn't have the best access to crude oil either. So they are trying solve this problem by getting more refining capacity and tapping in to Canadian crude. The Midwest has recently been through several bouts where refineries have been shut down due to things lik
  • Dump them into the company's board members and whoever else decided this.
  • by timmarhy (659436) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @05:14PM (#19862299)
    "The additional sludge is the maximum allowed under federal guidelines."

    they aren't exempt from anything, they merely got permision to use the maximum level allowed.

    i don't see the issue unless you are planning on swimming right beside the outlet pipe. http://magma.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0209/featu re2/online_extra.html [nationalgeographic.com]

    people USE 2.4 billion gallons a DAY and it doesn't even make a dent in the lake, so you can imagine the bullshit tiny % of pollution a few thousand pounds makes. I'd bet money animals and humans contribute more pollution to the river in the form of urine per day.

    so why don't you all try and have some perspective for once and not jump on the "omgz the evil corperation is killing the world" bandwagon.

    • by Foerstner (931398)

      "The additional sludge is the maximum allowed under federal guidelines."


      Umm...

      Indiana regulators exempted BP from state environmental laws...


      See the difference?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by timmarhy (659436)
        both quotes are from the article. compared out of context like that they would seem to be at odds

        " the Clean Water Act that prohibits any downgrade in water quality near a pollution source even if discharge limits are met"

        They aren't exempt from pollution guidlines at all like you and the submitter are trying to pretend, they have merely allowed BP to pollute to the maximum amount allowed under the act. prior to this BP were putting out far less, the issue is that the act is poorly written and inflexible.

  • This pollution may be just fine and dandy with Indiana, but what about the other states that border the Great Lakes? I live in Michigan and I don't want to see Lake Michigan become like Lake Erie once was...
  • by Cervantes (612861) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @06:49PM (#19862905) Journal
    I particularily liked how regulators agreed with BP that they didn't have room on their site to build a new waste water treatment plant.

    On their 1400 ACRE site.

    Oy.
  • by fluffy99 (870997) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @11:13PM (#19864433)
    Seriously, the ammonia from fish poop in the lake is several orders of magnitude higher. Plus, ammonia is taken up by algae anyway.
  • Outrage! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by The_Shadows (255371) <(moc.liamtoh) (ta) (swodahsfoeruleht)> on Sunday July 15, 2007 @01:39AM (#19865063) Homepage
    So people here on /. are outraged. That's nothing new. What is anyone going to do about it? Write a letter to a congressman? The governor? Run for office to get things changed yourself? Drive less and carpool more?

    If you fill up at a BP normally, will you stop doing that? Or will you do what's easier, more convenient?

    I live in central Indiana, and I really don't like the idea of more waste being dumped in Lake Michigan. It's fould as it stands. I wouldn't go swimming in it unless I wanted a few layers of flesh stripped off and loss of ability to reproduce. I may write a letter (that will be looked over, glossed over, and discared by aides) to congressman, senators, and the governor. I probably won't. I'm under no illusions it will do any good. I'm not going to drive less. I don't really go many places other than work and I, sadly, can't quit my job yet. I walk to the grocery store, same as I've done for two years. And I won't stop filling up at BP either. It's directly on my way home from work. It's too convenient to not drive 2 blocks out of the way to put the same gas in my car, but at a "Speedway."

    Other than bitch and moan, what is anyone here willing to do, to change in their own lives because of this? The answer is probably nothing.

    As Kurt Vonnegut might have said, "So it goes."
  • by Caractacus Potts (74726) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @01:42AM (#19865083)
    A funny thing happened when the price of oil went up. It's now profitable to use some of the world's lower quality crude oil. And, unbeknownst to most Americans, Canada has huge amounts of such petroleum and companies are madly rushing to bring it to us. The main problem with the stuff in the ground is that it's mixed in with sand and most of the desirable compounds have evaporated away, leaving the thick gooey stuff and higher concentrations of contaminants like heavy metals. Google Athabasca tar sands for more info.

    In the long run, though, this stuff will eventually be cleaner for refineries since it will be "upgraded" to a synthetic crude oil in Canada to remove most of the metals, sulfer, and nitrogen compounds. Google "oil upgrader" for more info.

  • by Absentminded-Artist (560582) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @04:56AM (#19865661) Homepage
    ...will I see lower gas prices due to this change?

    It seems to me that with the cost of oil banging on $80-a-barrel's door, Venezuela driving out American oil interests, and with no truly efficient alternative in sight, we will have little choice but to enable more production State side. The downside to more production will always be more pollution, but the upside will theoretically be lower costs for oil and, consequently, gasoline.

    I realize the green flag is a popular one to wave around here, but what are our real options? I hate to see natural resources contaminated, but I hate to pay such high gas prices, too.

    I'm not saying pollution is a good thing, but unless there are viable alternatives to refined oil for energy we are going to see more of this sort of news in the future. Either except pollution as the fee we will pay for lower gas prices, or propose new energy sources. The demand for low cost fuel isn't going to wait for anybody, green or otherwise.

A LISP programmer knows the value of everything, but the cost of nothing. -- Alan Perlis

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