This is a guest post by Anna Simonton, on assignment with Oil Change International.
Carolyn Marsh was in her living room watching television on a Wednesday night in August when she heard a loud boom from somewhere outside. Having lived in the industrial town of Whiting, Indiana––just south of Chicago––for nearly three decades, she wasn’t terribly shaken. “There’s a lot of noise constantly,” she explains.
But when the news came on an hour later and reported an explosion at the nearby BP refinery, Marsh was incensed. It was the second serious incident since the recent completion of BP’s Whiting Refinery Modernization Project, which Marsh had fought to prevent.
In December 2013, after six years of community pushback, court battles, Environmental Protection Agency citations, and ongoing construction in spite of it all, BP’s $4.2 billion retrofitted facility came fully online.