Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0626
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Full Text of HR0626  95th General Assembly



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2     WHEREAS, Lake Michigan is a valuable fresh water resource
3 for the State of Illinois; and
4     WHEREAS, Pollution in Lake Michigan is a long-running
5 problem for the citizens of the State who use the Lake as a
6 primary source of drinking water; and
7     WHEREAS, The beaches of Lake Michigan provide a significant
8 source of tourism income for the State of Illinois and other
9 states bordering the Lake; and
10     WHEREAS, The British Petroleum oil refinery in Whiting,
11 Indiana is planning an expansion that would increase the
12 refinery's discharges into the Lake significantly, including
13 54% more ammonia (for a total discharge of 1,584 pounds of
14 ammonia per day) and 35% more sludge (for a total discharge of
15 4,925 pounds of sludge per day) on a daily basis, running
16 contrary to years of efforts to clean up the Great Lakes; and
17     WHEREAS, Ammonia promotes algae blooms that can kill fish
18 in the Lake and the sludge that will be discharged into the
19 Lake by British Petroleum is full of concentrated heavy metals;
20 and



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1     WHEREAS, The increased discharge into the Lake runs counter
2 to a provision of the federal Clean Water Act that prohibits
3 any downgrade in water quality near a pollution source, such as
4 the British Petroleum refinery; and
5     WHEREAS, Indiana State regulators are allowing British
6 Petroleum to install equipment that mixes its toxic waste with
7 clean lake water about 200 feet offshore, and actively diluting
8 pollution in this way is banned in Lake Michigan under Indiana
9 law; and
10     WHEREAS, The Indiana Department of Environmental
11 Management granted British Petroleum the first-ever exemption
12 to allow the pollution "mixing zone" in Lake Michigan; and
13     WHEREAS, Environmental regulators remain unsure about the
14 ecological effects of the relatively new refining process that
15 British Petroleum plans to use and the increased discharge into
16 Lake Michigan; and
17     WHEREAS, State and federal environmental regulators have
18 agreed that there is not enough room at the British Petroleum
19 site to upgrade the refinery's water treatment plant; and
20     WHEREAS, The United States Environmental Protection Agency
21 has not objected to the State of Indiana's decision to allow



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1 the increased discharge by British Petroleum; therefore, be it
4 strongly urge the United States Environmental Protection
5 Agency to follow a strict interpretation of the federal Clean
6 Water Act to minimize any additional pollution into Lake
7 Michigan; and be it further
8     RESOLVED, That we urge the United States Environmental
9 Protection Agency to prohibit the Whiting, Indiana British
10 Petroleum refinery from increasing the refinery's current
11 discharges of ammonia and sludge into Lake Michigan until the
12 ecological and environmental impact of the increased
13 discharges is fully understood by federal and state
14 environmental regulators; and be it further
15     RESOLVED, That we urge the United States Environmental
16 Protection Agency to require more investigation into the
17 possibility of expanding the British Petroleum refinery's
18 water treatment plant before allowing the refinery to proceed
19 with current plans for increased pollution discharge into Lake
20 Michigan; and be it further
21     RESOLVED, That we urge the Illinois delegation to the
22 United States Congress to take legislative action against any



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1 planned increase in the discharge of pollution into Lake
2 Michigan that is contrary to the federal Clean Water Act and
3 threatens the health of the environment of this State; and be
4 it further
5     RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
6 delivered to each member of the Illinois delegation to the
7 United States Congress, to the administrator of the United
8 States Environmental Protection Agency, Stephen L. Johnson,
9 and to the Great Lakes National Program Manager for the United
10 States Environmental Protection Agency, Mary A. Gade.