BP says it will back off from releasing more Lake Michigan pollution

In what’s being billed as a victory for environmentalists, oil company BP has said it will back off from dumping more pollution into Lake Michigan. The company had just weeks ago received permission from Indiana state authorities to increase the amount of sludge particles and ammonia it could release into the lake each day. But pressure campaigns from greens as well as from Great Lakes politicians and others prompted BP to rethink its plan, at least for now; the company’s promises to pollute less are not legally binding. BP’s pollution increase was to accompany a $3.8 billion expansion of its Whiting, Ind., refinery, a plan that the company still intends to go through with, though spokespeople maintain that it is considering possible technological solutions to keep pollution levels from rising. “BP is hearing loud and clear that they need to do something different,” said Cameron Davis of the Alliance for the Great Lakes. “The public doesn’t want business as usual.”