By BEN LEFEBVRE
HOUSTON -- BP agreed to add $400 million in pollution controls at its refinery in Whiting, Ind., to settle federal objections to the expanded plant receiving an air permit, the company said Wednesday.
State and federal regulators including the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, and environmental groups had sought to deny BP a revised air emissions permit as the company finishes its multi-billion-dollar expansion.
The project, started in 2008, will boost the refinery's fuel output and increase its use of heavy crude from Canadian oil sands.
As part of the settlement, BP will install emissions-reduction equipment and pay a further $8 million in civil fines to cover 11 years worth of allegations of air emission violations.
"We look forward to completion of the modernization project," said Whiting refinery manager Nick Spencer.
Environmental groups had complained that the plant emitted more pollutants than what was allowed under its original permit.
The EPA estimated that the new controls BP agreed to install will eliminate more than 4,000 tons of regulated pollutants annually.
The Whiting refinery is the sixth largest in the US, with a capacity of 405,000 bpd.
Dow Jones Newswires