Indiana And BP Officials Can’t Say Whether Mercury Got Dumped Into Lake Michigan

The BP Whiting Refinery is located in northwest Indiana on the shore of Lake Michigan, 20 miles southeast of Chicago, Ill. A portion of tank at the BP waste water treatment plant is shown at the bottom with the Chicago skyline in the background Tuesday Nov. 13, 2007 in Whiting, Ind. Three months ago, the London-based oil company said it would scrap the Whiting refinery’s planned $3.8 billion expansion if it could not find ways to cut the amount of additional waste that project would send into Lake Michigan.
The BP Whiting Refinery is located in northwest Indiana on the shore of Lake Michigan, 20 miles southeast of Chicago, Ill. Here, a portion of tank at the BP waste water treatment plant is shown at the bottom with the Chicago skyline in the background. Joe Raymond / AP Photo
The BP Whiting Refinery is located in northwest Indiana on the shore of Lake Michigan, 20 miles southeast of Chicago, Ill. A portion of tank at the BP waste water treatment plant is shown at the bottom with the Chicago skyline in the background Tuesday Nov. 13, 2007 in Whiting, Ind. Three months ago, the London-based oil company said it would scrap the Whiting refinery’s planned $3.8 billion expansion if it could not find ways to cut the amount of additional waste that project would send into Lake Michigan.
The BP Whiting Refinery is located in northwest Indiana on the shore of Lake Michigan, 20 miles southeast of Chicago, Ill. Here, a portion of tank at the BP waste water treatment plant is shown at the bottom with the Chicago skyline in the background. Joe Raymond / AP Photo

Indiana And BP Officials Can’t Say Whether Mercury Got Dumped Into Lake Michigan

Earlier this week, BP officials reported that the company’s refinery in Whiting, Indiana, dumped about five times more waste into Lake Michigan than its permit allows. Asked today whether that waste included mercury—a potent neurotoxin—a BP spokesman said he didn’t know. In an email, a spokesman for Indiana’s environmental agency said “This is an ongoing investigation and the scope of information is not complete at this time.”

State and company officials say waste is back down to normal levels.