Refinery Leak Fixed

By Peter Ambrose

June 18, 2010 Updated Jul 18, 2007 at 7:59 AM EDT

WHITING, Ind. (AP) _ The B-P refinery in Whiting, Indiana, has
returned a distillation unit to production that had been shut down
since July 5th to fix a leaky pipe.

The shut-down of was one of the reasons oil industry analysts gave for recent higher gas prices. Prices in Fort Wayne shot up to about $3.17 a gallon around the time of the leak. They've since settled to about $2.99 at some stations.

The unit processes 250-thousand barrels of oil a day, about 40
percent of the refinery's capacity. The refinery is the largest supplier of gasoline to Midwest markets.

As the leak was repaired, state and federal officials granted
B-P permits that will allow the Whiting refinery to release more ammonia and sludge into Lake Michigan. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management and the EPA recently gave the company an
exemption from clean water laws that cap the amount of toxins
discharged into the lake.

B-P spokesman Scott Dean says the refinery's discharges will
remain within federal and state pollution water standards. The
Whiting Refinery needed the exemption to proceed with a $3.8 Billion expansion that will allow it to process heavy crude oil from Canada.

Lee Botts, a Gary environmentalist and founder of the Great
Lakes Alliance, says she and others believe B-P should try harder
to protect the environment.

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