By Dean Seal


Federal regulators have fined BP $40 million as part of a settlement over alleged violations of the Clean Air Act at an oil refinery in Indiana.

The U.S. Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency alleged in a civil complaint that BP's North American subsidiary violated federal regulations that limit the amount of benzene in refinery wastewater streams as well as air pollutants and emissions at a refinery it operates in Whiting, Ind.

BP has agreed to settle the action by installing at least one permanent benzene stripper to reduce benzene in streams that lead to its lakefront wastewater treatment plant. It also will install 10 air pollutant monitoring stations to keep an eye on air quality outside of the refinery fence line.

The investments BP that will make to allay the regulators' concerns are estimated to cost more than $197 million.

The oil and gas giant also has agreed to pay a fine of $40 million, marking the largest civil penalty ever secured in a Clean Air Act stationary source settlement.

Separately, BP has agreed to undertake a $5 million supplemental environmental project aimed at cutting diesel emissions in the communities that surround the Whiting refinery.

"Under the settlement, the refinery will implement controls that will greatly improve air quality and reduce health impacts on the overburdened communities that surround the facility," said Todd Kim, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's environment and natural resources division.

A representative for BP said the company takes safety and compliance issues seriously and has committed to additional steps to monitor and mitigate wastewater emissions at the Whiting refinery.

"This work, which is being done in close coordination with federal and state regulators, will continue over the next several years," the spokesperson said.

Write to Dean Seal at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 17, 2023 11:56 ET (15:56 GMT)

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