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Group withdrawing BP federal lawsuit

January 1, 2009
An environmental group is withdrawing its federal lawsuit alleging clean air violations at a BP plant in Whiting.

In the case of Natural Resources Defense Council v. BP Products North America, No. 2:08-CV-204, the New York-based environmental organization filed a stipulation for voluntary dismissal with prejudice against the plant.

The NRDC had filed the suit in July 2008, claiming the gas company was violating the Clean Air Act by operating under an air permit it believed allowed too much air pollution. The suit alleged the Indiana Department of Environmental Management didn't properly account for pollution increases that would result from the refinery expansion.

But the group decided to withdraw the complaint after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in October ordered the state to rewrite BP's air permit, finding that Indiana officials may not have fully assessed all the new emissions that might be produced.

Spokesman Josh Mogerman in the NRDC's Chicago office said the group will now focus its efforts on state-level proceedings, which involve similar issues and are being heard by the Office of Environmental Adjudication.
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