Apparently, (not to mention thankfully!!!) I'm not alone in my concerns. This just arrived in my inbox from Congressman Rahm Emmanuel.
"Together, we have made real progress to clean up the Great Lakes. From steps to curb invasive species like the Asian Carp barrier, to plans for funding ongoing preservation measures, and cracking down on polluters, we have made measurable strides in improving the health of the Great Lakes.
"That is why I am alarmed by the recent decision of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to allow BP's Whiting, Indiana facility to increase the amount of ammonia and sludge it dumps into Lake Michigan. This permit would allow BP to pour an average every day of 1,584 pounds of ammonia and 4,925 pounds of "sludge" into Lake Michigan.
"On behalf all of us who depend on Lake Michigan and the rest of the Great Lakes for drinking water, recreation, and quality of life, I have been working with members of Congress from both parties from the Great Lakes delegation to stand up to the EPA and to BP. We are urging the federal Environmental Protection Agency to call a halt on Indiana’s permit until studies conclude that the additional ammonia and sludge will not degrade Great Lakes water quality.
"Additionally, Senator Durbin and I have written to BP Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward to urge him to reconsider his company’s policy of upping the pollutants it dumps into our Great Lakes.
"Last week, I also introduced a bipartisan resolution, H.Con.Res.187, that expresses the sense of the U.S. Congress that BP’s dumping plans should not go forward, and to rededicate our government to protecting and preserving the overall health of the Great Lakes. Today, the House of Representatives will vote on our resolution.
"In 2004, President Bush said "the Great Lakes are a national treasure," and I wholeheartedly agree. With your help, I will keep the pressure on to prevent any other practice that jeopardizes the Great Lakes. If you would like more information on efforts regarding BP’s dumping plan, visit http://chicagoparkdistrict.com/. My office has also worked with environmental groups like the National Wildlife Foundation and the Sierra Club to fight to protect our Lakes.
Rahm"After hearing on a daily basis what abomination the Bush administration has been up to, this was like a breath of fresh air (or a wash of fresh water!) in the world of politics. I have renewed faith that there are indeed proactive politicians who really, truly care about their communities.