Dec. 15 Public Hearing in East Chicago on BP Mercury Discharge Plan

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management is hosting a Dec. 15 public hearing on the draft proposal it approved for the BP Whiting Refinery to deviate from current rules on how much mercury can be in its wastewater discharge.

The hearing will be from 6 to 8 p.m. in conference Room 205 of Ivy Tech Community College Northwest’s East Chicago campus, 410 E. Columbus Drive.

BP applied for a streamlined mercury variance Nov. 12, 2010, to modify its existing National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit. The permit is required for entities that discharge wastewater or pollutants directly into surface bodies of water.

The refinery doesn’t currently have a variance, but has a compliance schedule within its existing permit, said Amber Finkelstein, IDEM spokeswoman.

Treatment of local waterways were examined in Professor Mike Bryson’s seminar SUST 220 Water last fall, and these subjects are examined in this spring’s offerings of SUST 210 The Sustainable Future (offered both downtown and online). If you are interested in these or any of our other courses, find out more by visiting our Sustainability Studies website, calling 1-877-277-5978 (1-877-APPLY RU) or emailing

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