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Chicago Petition-Signers Organize to Fight Indiana Permit to Dump More Pollutants into Lake Michigan

08/7/2007
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They don’t actually live in Indiana – they live in neighboring Illinois. But 45,000 conservation advocates have signed petitions asking Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels to be a good neighbor and rescind permission granted a BP refinery to dump additional pollutants into their common back yard, Lake Michigan. (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/31)

The brouhaha comes after billions of dollars have been spent rehabilitating the Great Lakes, says Cameron Davis, one of the petition drive’s initiators and president of the Alliance for the Great Lakes. “Indiana’s Department of Environmental Management found as many loopholes in the law as they could find, and stretched them to the max to let BP walk through,” he adds (http://www.greatlakes.org/.

If you’re wondering why Indiana government officials would even think of increasing the amount of permissible ammonia and suspended solids dumped into the lake, here’s their story: Governor Daniels and the business community are backing a $3 billion expansion of the refinery because, they say, it will create more than 2,000 jobs.

Congressman Rahm Emanual (D-IL) spearheaded a House resolution urging Indiana to reconsider the permit, but Daniels says he has no plans to rescind it without “a good scientific reason.”

I guess poisoning the fifth largest lake in the world and jeopardizing the health of residents of four states is not scientific enough!

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