Monday, July 23, 2007

BP Factory in Whiting, Indiana and the environment

It appears there has been some controversy about a BP Factory in Whiting, Indiana, why this is important to me to focus on is I live on the Great Lakes, not Lake Michigan but Lake Erie and we've had some recent local scenarios involving EPA emissions and the Great Lakes. At first I wondered about doing a post sponsored by BP but I was not asked to be positive, I was asked to give my honest opinion of this scenario. To me this is one of those classic cases of the those who focus on the environment up against those who focus on jobs. Many times it's hard to find a common ground. When you read one of the recent Chicago Tribune articles the heart of the problem seems to be the increase in ammonia and industrial sludge that BP will be allowed to release into Lake Michigan will increase, still within the allowed numbers by the EPA but the increase has many environmentalists concerned.

BP's position on this is stated in on their website, they disagree with the industrial solids issue and while they admit ammonia discharge will increase, they point out it will still be at levels that will still be less than half of what the EPA will allow.

While I am concerned about our Great Lakes and I think we can do more to prevent not just pollution but invasion by non-resident water creatures from ship ballast that causes ecological harm, I tend to agree with the main points in an editorial written in the News Sentinel, there are going to be times when we face the trade off between jobs and the environment. The key seems to be to do this in the least harmful manner to the environment while still being able to have companies expand.

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