A federal judge has recently ruled that BP has violated federal limits on particulate matter at its Whiting Refinery in northwest Indiana..
The decision by U.S. District Court Judge Philip P. Simon addressed air pollution in the Chicago area and revolved around the results of nine pollution tests BP provided to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management between 2015 and 2018.
During eight of the tests, boilers at the refinery ejected concentrations of particulate matter, commonly known as soot, that exceeded authorized limits.
BP was legally obligated to remedy the problem and retest emissions but failed to do so each time, Simon said in his review of data provided by the Sierra Club and Environmental Integrity Project.
The two nonprofit groups sued BP under the federal Clean Air Act after Indiana officials declined to take legal action against the oil giant.
“Sierra Club has submitted uncontroverted evidence that BP violated this testing requirement,” Simon wrote in a 28-page opinion. “So nothing more is needed at this stage of the litigation.”
BP attorneys argued with the plain language of federal law and claimed three Sierra Club members who live near the refinery could not prove its pollution is toxic. Simon rejected the company’s defenses.
The Whiting refinery is the nation’s sixth largest, with a capacity to process more than 400,000 barrels of oil a day.