Reaction of U.S. Representative Judy Biggert (R-Il-13th) on BP Pledge of No Increase in Lake Michigan Discharge Limits
Washington, DC -- U.S. Representative Judy Biggert (R-13th-IL) today issued the following statement in response to BP America's pledge to operate its oil refinery in Whiting, Indiana at the lower discharge levels contained in the facility's previous wastewater treatment permit. In order to meet the lower discharge limits, BP will provide a $5 million grant to underwrite the technology task force convened at the request of Representatives Biggert and Pete Visclosky (D-1st-IN). Including scientists and water experts from Argonne National Laboratory and the Purdue University Calumet Water Institute, the task force will work with BP to explore the application of emerging technologies that could address wastewater treatment challenges faced by entities along the Great Lakes.
"This is good news; BP made the right call," said Biggert, a senior member of the Science and Technology Committee. "I've always maintained that advanced technology should be moving us in the opposite direction - less dumping in the lake, and not more dumping. Our lake is our treasure, and our goal should be to reduce discharges from all sources. The permits may have allowed it, but the science should make it unnecessary."
"On one hand, we want to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and bring our gas prices down. But on the other hand, we have our lake that means so much to all of us," continued Biggert, whose south suburban district includes Argonne National Laboratory. "I've always had a lot of confidence in our scientists at Argonne, and at the Purdue Water Institute. The $5 million dollars that BP has pledged to the effort shows that they're serious too."
"Now I'm hopeful that some of the name-calling and finger pointing will calm down and we'll get to work on finding a solution. The Argonne-Purdue BP team will have its first official meeting in early September, and Congressman Pete Visclosky and I stand ready to help in any way we can," said Biggert.