The Whiting Refinery. Image courtesy of BP/Flickr.

BP has agreed to pay $275,000 in penalties to resolve alleged enviromental violations at its Whiting Refinery.

The Environmental Protection Agency said on Monday that BP will pay more than $275,000 in civil penalties to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act at the refinery.

The U.S. Coast Guard and EPA responded to a spill at the refinery in March 2014 that discharged up to 39 barrels of oil into Lake Michigan.

The Coast Guard had previously assessed a penalty of $2,000 against BP for the spill, the EPA said.

An EPA investigation found that BP “failed to implement its spill prevention, control and countermeasure plan and failed to provide appropriate containment to prevent a discharge of oil.”

BP has agreed to update its plan and pay a $151,899 civil penalty to resolve those alleged violations, the EPA said.

The agency also found that BP “exceeded the limits of its wastewater discharge permit in April and November of 2011.”

BP has agreed to install new monitoring equipment, implement an inspection and cleaning schedule for a wastewater treatment device and enhance stormwater controls and inspections to prevent unauthorized discharges.

The company has also agreed to pay a $74,212 civil penalty to resolve these alleged violations.

BP also agreed to implement enhanced procedures when installing equipment at the refinery and pay a $50,313 civil penalty to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act’s chemical accident prevention requirements, the EPA said.

The EPA added that BP has also agreed to take steps to reduce an estimated 23,500 pounds of pollution produced at refinery each year.

The Whiting Refinery is the sixth largest petroleum refinery in the United States and produces up to 430,000 barrels of oil a day.

“Ensuring BP’s compliance with the Clean Water Act is critical to protect Lake Michigan. Identifying hazards and maintaining a safe facility will prevent accidental releases from occurring,” acting EPA Regional Administrator Robert Kaplan said.


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