Review of BP Water Permit Given to Governor
Posted December 6, 2007
The review of Indiana's process to implement state and federal Great Lakes water quality laws has been delivered to the governor. The report by the former dean of the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs and former deputy administrator of the EPA Jim Barnes says the limitations in a controversial water permit for BP in northwest Indiana are as demanding as those by adjoining states and conform to all federal and state laws designed to protect water quality in Lake Michigan.
The report also says the allowed increases in ammonia and total suspended solids will not adversely impact designated water uses.
However, the report also outlines there are shortcomings in the IDEM regulations that implement antidegradation policy for Great Lakes waters. Barnes says IDEM should consider revisions to its public process to make it more transparent and understandable to the public.
INDIANAPOLIS (December 6, 2007) – Governor Mitch Daniels has received the review he requested from Jim Barnes, the former dean of the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs and former deputy administrator of EPA, regarding state and federal laws about Great Lakes water quality and the state’s process to implement those laws.
Daniels thanked Barnes for his careful work and the time he dedicated to complete the review.
“His report vindicates Indiana’s staunch protection of the water quality of Lake Michigan and the people of IDEM as conscientious public servants who applied Indiana’s tough environmental standards rigorously and faithfully. We’ll move promptly to adopt his recommendations for process improvement,” said Daniels.
Among Barnes’ findings or recommendations:
-The limitations in the BP permit are as demanding, and in several instances much more restrictive than, those issued by adjoining states to refineries. (Page 4)
-EPA reconfirmed that it considers Indiana’s antidegradation regulations to be in compliance with EPA’s Great Lakes Water Quality Initiative Antidegradation Policy. (Pages 4, 14)
-The allowed increases in the discharge of ammonia and total suspended solids will not adversely affect designated water uses. (Page 16)
-There are shortcomings in the IDEM regulations that implement the antidegradation policy for Great Lakes waters that Indiana has designated as an outstanding state resource water. (Page 19)
-The permit issued by Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) to BP conforms with all federal and state law designed to protect water quality in Lake Michigan (Page 21)
-IDEM should consider revisions to its public process to better explain and to provide more transparent and understandable to the public and the regulated community. (Page 31)
Source: Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels' Office