Harmful pollution from BP Whiting Refinery flares have dissipated, IDEM says
Harmful chemicals in the air from BP's Whiting Refinery seem to have dissipated — though northwest Indiana and much of the state is still under an air quality alert due to wildfires in Canada.
Severe weather on Sunday caused power outages at the refinery which led to unplanned gas flaring. That’s where excess natural gas produced during oil refining is burned off into the atmosphere.
According to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, the flaring released high amounts of sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide into the air. Both chemicals can harm your lungs and make breathing difficult, among other things.
The Porter County HAZMAT team also sampled the air and got similar results.
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IDEM said it will review the refinery's emission reports and take action if there are any violations.
Last month, the Whiting Refinery received the largest federal penalty ever imposed for industrial air pollution in U.S. history.