Last fall, you helped keep the Coast Guard from establishing live-fire zones and dumping lead in the Great Lakes. Your help in keeping pollution out of the lakes is needed again.
BP (British Petroleum) has recently received approval from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to increase its dumping of ammonia into Lake Michigan by more than 50 percent. This would put more than 1400 additional pounds of ammonia into the lake each day, on top of what BP dumps already. Also, BP would be allowed to dump large amounts of toxic sludge into the lake every day.
This new dumping would seriously harm the lake ecosystem and would degrade the quality of the drinking water supply that more than eight million people rely on. Ammonia is a nutrient for algae, so an increase in ammonia will create algae blooms that choke off the oxygen that the fish in the lake need to survive.
The additional dumping would be done at BP’s one-hundred-year old oil refinery just over the border from Chicago in Whiting, Indiana. BP is expanding its capacity at that refinery, and it doesn’t want to spend a relatively small amount of money to clean up its discharge. It could clean the discharge. The technology is available and proven. It just doesn’t want to bother. (BP is also seeking a variance to permit an increase in the plant’s emissions that contribute to air pollution.)
We urge you and your friends to support a boycott of BP until they agree not to increase their pollution of the lake. Please sign online to show your support of the boycott and forward this message to your friends. Phone your elected officials and tell them you want them to keep our drinking water clean and safe. Contact environmental organizations such as Sierra Club, Alliance for the Great Lakes, and others that you know, and urge them to make this a priority issue.
We need to act quickly. This is the first time in 40 years that anyone has gotten an exemption from regulations that protect Lake Michigan water. We cannot let this stand. We had an impact before, and we can do it again.
Citizens For Lake Safety