BP agrees to $2.5 million settlement for Whiting refinery particulate air pollution lawsuit

September 20, 2022

BP has agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle a lawsuit claiming the company violated the Clean Air Act through excess particulate air pollution.

The company will pay $1.75 in civil penalties to settle a lawsuit filed by the Hoosier Chapter of the Sierra Club in 2019 alleging the company violated its operating permit by repeatedly producing excess particulate air pollution from boilers at BP’s Whiting refinery.

The company will also pay $500,000 to the Student Conservation Association for tree plantings and landscaping on roadways near the refinery and $500,000 for indoor air filtration devices to the school districts in Hammond or East Chicago.

The agreement was submitted to the U.S. District Court in Northern Indiana and must be approved by the judge overseeing the case.

“This settlement is a major victory for Hoosiers and everyone in the Chicago metropolitan area, whose health and safety were threatened for far too long by BP’s profits-over-people approach,” said Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter president Amanda Sheperd. “We are thrilled to see BP held accountable for its dangerous pollution and lack of regard for our communities.”

BP’s Whiting refinery processes 440,000 barrels of crude oil every day, and the company regularly runs afoul of state and federal air pollution permitting and rules.

In February and March, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management found multiple violations of federal and state air pollution rules and agreements, including dozens of undocumented and unmonitored devices and leaking tanks.

An electrical fire at the refinery in August shut down the facility for several days, prompting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state of Indiana to issue emergency fuel waivers for fuel volatility on gasoline sold in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.

BP agrees to $2.5 million settlement for Whiting refinery particulate air pollution lawsuit