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BP Backs Down On Higher Lake Michigan Discharge Limits

BP says it will not invoke provisions of a new permit that allows it to release significantly more ammonia and suspended solids into Lake Michigan, The Chicago Tribune reports. The move is a response to criticism from politicians and the public

BP said it would abide by more stringent limits in its previous permit as the company moves forward with a $3.8 billion expansion of its Whiting, Ind., refinery.

Bob Malone, chairman of BP America, vowed BP would search more thoroughly for alternatives to keep pollution out of the lake. He also threatened to scuttle the expansion project if an acceptable solution could not be found, though a company spokesman later said that was unlikely.

Neither BP nor Indiana officials would commit Thursday to adjusting the permit to legally lower the discharges released into the lake. Scott Dean, a BP spokesman, said it would be up to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to alter the permit. But state officials said the company would first have to request the changes.

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