Company officials say public criticism has been so overwhelming they will not take advantage of a permit that would have allowed them to increase the amount of ammonia and "suspended solids" dumped daily into the lake. Illinois politicians were among the first to pounce after the State of Indiana gave the plan the green light in June, and the furor quickly spread to Congress. In July, the House passed a toothless resolution that called for "an end to dumping in the Great Lakes."
"This Congress will not simply stand by while our Great Lakes are treated like a dumping zone," proclaimed resolution co-sponsor Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.).
It was good political theater, but the reality is the outrage never matched the threat; the amount of pollution BP planned to add to the lake wasn't even a dribble compared with the toxic insults the lake has suffered historically and continues to suffer today.
"I haven't seen anything yet where anybody has demonstrated or shown on paper - when you look at the entire lake, or even locally - that there is going to be a problem as a result of this discharge," Bruce Baker, deputy water administrator for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, said two days before BP backed off.
An excellent piece. Read it all.