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1 Administrative Rules Oversight Committee IDEM Approval of BP’s NPDES Permit August 22, 2007 Thomas W. Easterly, P.E., DEE, QEP Commissioner IN Department.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Administrative Rules Oversight Committee IDEM Approval of BP’s NPDES Permit August 22, 2007 Thomas W. Easterly, P.E., DEE, QEP Commissioner IN Department."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Administrative Rules Oversight Committee IDEM Approval of BP’s NPDES Permit August 22, 2007 Thomas W. Easterly, P.E., DEE, QEP Commissioner IN Department of Environmental Management

2 2 IDEM’s Mission IDEM is responsible for protecting human health and the environment while providing for safe industrial, agricultural, commercial and governmental operations vital to a prosperous economy.

3 3 How Does IDEM Protect the Environment? Measure the air, water and land to determine the existing state of the environment Compare the measured values to levels that protect human health and the environment Ambient Air Quality Standards Water Quality Standards Remediation of contaminated sites Use modeling to determine how much of a substance can be safely added to the environment

4 4 How Does IDEM Protect the Environment? Develop regulations and issue permits to restrict discharges to the environment to safe levels Inspect and monitor permitted facilities to ensure compliance with the permits Enforce against people who exceed their permit levels or violate regulations Educate people on their environmental responsibilities

5 5 Need for a Permit Every facility that discharges into surface waters is required to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.

6 6 Priorities Used to Grant the Permit Issuance of the BP permit was part of an ongoing process to renew and update all NPDES permits to meet new, more stringent state and federal requirements. In BP’s case, the company also asked to modify its permit to accommodate the planned expansion to refine crude oil from Canada.

7 7 Permit Limits, Requirements Permit limits are set to meet: Water quality standards to protect aquatic life, drinking water and recreation Technology standards consistently applied each type of industry Permits also contain requirements such as: Whole effluent toxicity testing If the applicant meets all legal and regulatory requirements, the permit must be issued.

8 8 BP NPDES Permit No exceptions were made with BP’s wastewater permit which is protective of drinking water, recreation and aquatic life in Lake Michigan BP’s permitted discharge levels are established at or below current stringent water quality standards. With the new permit, BP will be able to process Canadian Heavy Crude derived from tar sands.

9 9 Public Outreach IDEM considers all stakeholders when making a permit decision. We respond to all comments received and include the responses in the fact sheet before making the final permit decision. In January, 2007, IDEM, EPA and BP commenced an extraordinary outreach to and consultation with the Northwest Indiana environmental community during the development of the final draft permit

10 10 Public Outreach A public comment period on the draft permit was offered from March 16 to May 11, A public meeting held in Whiting on April 26, 2007—attended by BP representatives, the environmental community and one citizen. IDEM received and responded to comments from 46 people before issuing the final permit on June 21, 2007.

11 11 Public Outreach IDEM coordinated with EPA to ensure compliance with the Clean Water Act. On April 5, 2007, EPA issued a written notice of no objection concerning the BP Permit. The 18-day appeal period for the permit ended on July 9, 2007 and no appeal was filed within that period. The permit effective date is August 1, 2007 and the permit expires July 31, 2012.

12 12 BP’s Wastewater Treatment Process All wastewater is fully treated in a complex treatment plant with 7 separate treatment stages before being released 3,500 feet from shoreline BP discharges 21.4 million gallons of treated wastewater per day

13 BAR SCREEN GRIT CHAMBER API SEPERATOR (#7 SEP) 27 BAY 2 STAGE (24 IN USE) SURGE TANK 5050 EQL. TANK 5051 REFINERY WASTEWATER DISOLVED AIR FLOATATION UNIT 7 BAY 2 STAGE STAGE 1 AERATION TANK 5001 STAGE 2 AERATION TANK 5002 SPLITTER BOX 5003 CLARIFIER 5004 CLARIFIER 5005 FINAL FILTERS (8 TOTAL) FIRE WATER AND COOLING TOWER MAKE-UP WATER EFFLUENT TO THE LAKE BP Amoco Whiting Wastewater Treatment Plant

14 14 Putting the numbers in perspective Water and wastewater standards are typically expressed in milligrams per liter (mg/l). Wastewater with 1 mg/l of material left in it is % pure water 1 mg/l is 1 part per million (ppm). 1 ppm equates to about 6 people of the state’s 6.2 million population Mercury limits are much lower—1.3 millionth of a part per million (parts per trillion) or less than one hundredth of a person on earth.

15 15 BP NPDES Permit--TSS Total Suspended Solids (TSS) are not sludge. BP’s TSS discharge is comparable to the TSS discharge of a small city There are no other technologies known to further remove TSS

16 16 BP NPDES Permit--TSS The new permit allows an increase in TSS from the existing limit of 3,646 lbs/day to 4,925 lbs/day At this level, the discharge will contain 27.6 mg/l of TSS, less than the typical 30 mg/l limit imposed on many municipal treatment plants.

17 17 BP NPDES Permit--Ammonia The new permit allows an increase in ammonia from the existing limit of 1,030 lbs/day up to 1,584 lbs/day. The new permitted level is half of permissible maximums (technology-based effluent limit is 3,358 lbs/day, water quality based effluent limit is 3,215 lbs/day.) The calculated concentration of ammonia in the lake at the discharge is 0.28 mg/l, which is well below the lowest permissible effluent limit of 0.48 mg/l

18 18 Comparison to Recently Proposed Illinois Refinery Permit Illinois Proposal BP Permit AMMONIA (lb/thousand barrels/day) TSS (mg/l)

19 19 BP NPDES Permit -- Mercury The permit restricts BP’s discharge to the Great Lakes Water Quality Limit of 1.3 parts per trillion. As allowed by law, BP has up to five years to meet this standard. BP will not discharge more mercury when it reconfigures the refinery.

20 20 Drinking Water There is no drinking water standard for ammonia. There is a total nitrogen (N) standard for Nitrate plus Nitrite of 10 mg/l and a Nitrite standard of 1 mg/l. The BP permit restricts the ammonia N to 0.28 mg/l in the lake (including a background value of 0.05 mg/l). Chlorination, which is required for drinking water supplied from surface water, destroys ammonia. There is no drinking water standard for total suspended solids—surface water is filtered.

21 21 Recreational Use Beach closings and swimming advisories are caused by high levels of bacteria in the water. The high levels are normally caused by discharges of untreated sewage, typically during periods of high rain fall. The BP facility does not discharge bacteria.

22 22 Aquatic Life Aquatic life, including fish, is fully protected by the permit limits on ammonia and mercury.

23 23 Thank You — Questions Tom Easterly 100 N. Senate Ave. IGCN 1301 Indianapolis, IN (317) Fax (317)


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