Toledo Refinery BP
In 1911, an oil refinery was established in Toledo, Ohio. By 1919 it was owned by BP Corporation, and they have maintained the facility since that time. Currently the plant is able to process 160,000 barrels of crude oil on a daily basis.
1999 was a difficult year for the plant. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency teamed up with the U.S. Department of Justice to prosecute the owners of the refinery for polluting the environment. Improperly maintained pipes within the facility were allowing gases to flare up, and release toxins such as sulfur dioxide. These emissions are known to be a factor in the production of acid rain. In addition, the charges brought against the refinery claimed that the owners were aware of this problem, and did not take any steps to correct it.
To resolve this issue, the Toledo Refinery was forced to make repairs to put an end to the flare ups, and to pay a fine of $1.75 million. In addition to this sum, BP had to give $350,000 which was to be spent on environmental projects, $150,000 for an emergency phone response system that would be used to notify residents of any fires or incidents of pollution, $200,000 for a dedicated radio that will allow the plant employees to directly contact the local Fire Department and a $1.4 million civil penalty. They were also required to monitor any future incidents, and to report them immediately to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as soon as they occurred.
An official from the EPA explained that the amount was set very high to help discourage other plant owners from ignoring potential flare up problems within their facilities. In essence, they chose to make an example out of the BP Corporation to show what a serious issue the air pollution really is.
The refinery also endured another serious issue when it was determined that many of the products used within the facility were a health hazard because they were made out of asbestos. All of these products had to be cleared out of the plant and properly disposed of. Asbestos is a natural material that is made up of fibers that can be inhaled without the individual even realizing what has happened. The fibers can then cause great harm to the respiratory system and lead to a cancerous disease known as mesothelioma.
Today BP is proud to be a "green" company that participates in ongoing efforts to produce fuels with low amounts of sulfur. Their overall goal is to reduce the amount of sulfur found in their gasoline products by an astounding 90 - 95%. This will reduce automobile emissions and help to protect the environment, and their efforts are fully supported by the EPA.
Last modified: December 09, 2009.