Monday, March 17, 2008

Murphy Oil Superior, WI, Cleanup Praised - - No Mention of Seven-Fold Expansion Coming

Murphy Oil gets high praise for helping with a $6.3 million contamination cleanup near its Superior, WI, refinery (the company's contribution: $200,000, with taxpayers paying the rest).

The good news in that Superior Herald Telegram story: more species are returning to the previously-fouled area.

But the story avoids mentioning that the refinery is on the cusp of a seven-fold increase in refining capacity.

Processing heavy, Canadian tar sand crude, then piping it out in a new distribution system also to be constructed.

Needing, in all, the filling of 400-500 acres of wetlands, which Murphy expects both federal agencies and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to approve when permit applications are made later this year.

Yet these same agencies are working to restore once-fouled waters and land that are part of the same watershed on which the expanded refinery would be built and operated.

"But besides dealing with the contaminated sediments, the EPA and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources want to return the area to its natural state and encourage the animals, critters, bugs and birds to return," says the Telegram story.

Natural state?

Are you kidding?

What will the chances be of obtaining that lofty restoration goal with the expanded refinery requiring the largest wetlands filling in Wisconsin since the passage of the US Clean Water Act of 1972, the beginning of Earth Day in 1970, and other environmental and public health landmarks?

How many ways can you say "contradiction?"

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