Hoosier Environmental Council

Hoosiers Demand Climate Action In Soggy March

Sep 8, 2018

About 100 people braved the rain to attend the Rise for Climate Action march at the Indiana Statehouse on Saturday. Speakers focused on midterm elections and how climate change harms underserved communities. 

CAFOs off Route 25 in Tippecanoe County. (FILE PHOTO: Annie Ropeik/IPB News)
Lauren Chapman

Farmers officially don’t have to report toxic emissions from animal waste and other pollutants. On Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency solidified a rule on that after more than a decade of debate. It could have implications for Hoosiers living near confined animal feeding operations or CAFOs  

Today:   The Center for American Progress just completed a study of voter turnout, based on individual states' efforts in 2016 and projected the opportunities for more people to get to the polls in this mid-term election -- and beyond.  Danielle Root of the CAP joins us to talk about the report, and how thousands more Hoosiers could vote, with just a few changes to voter registration, same-day registration and no-excuse absentee voting. 

Delaware County Revokes Permit For CAFO

Jul 2, 2018

A Delaware County man will no longer be allowed to open a farm with more than 10,000 hogs. Late last week, the county rejected Rhett Light’s permit for a concentrated animal feeding operation or CAFO. It was approved by the county in May. 

Indiana used to have to post public notices in newspapers when a company applied for a permit to put pollution into the air. But the Indiana Department of Environmental Management wants to move away from paper ads.

A change to the Endangered Species Act could harm plants and animals in Indiana that are awaiting federal help. A proposal by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would get rid of blanket protections for all species that are close to becoming endangered or “threatened.” 

Indiana Economic Digest

On this Reporter's Roundtable Thursday, we check in with "Indianapolis Star" political columnist (a northwest Indiana native and former local reporter) Matthew Tully about his columns on the three Republican Party candidates for U.S. Senate.  He brings us up-to-date on their antics on the campaign trail and on the debate stage.  The final pre-election debate is coming up in Indianapolis.  Rob Earnshaw of the "Times" talks about his stories out of Crown Point, including the story of a municipal water customer with an outrageously high bill.

Indiana Dept of Child Services

Today:   Retired Indiana University Northwest professor Rick Hug joins us to talk about his creation -- now in its 28th year.  The Forum on Child Abuse and Neglect will be held on the Gary campus on Friday, in the new Arts and Sciences Building.  Hug says they have a very knowledgable keynote speaker and participant in one of the workshops this year. 

There are usually two sides (perhaps more) to a controversial issue.  This controversy surrounds a proposal by Merrillville-based Maya Energy LLC to build a solid waste materials processing facility in Gary.  Lakeshore Public Radio offers, first, the proposal from Maya Energy and, secondly,  the viewpoint of environmentalists and the businesses and residents affected by it.

Here is James Ventura, a former East Chicago city councilman who is the principal of Maya Energy LLC, when he came on "Regionally Speaking" on March 12th.

WMUB Public Media

Today:   we continue our conversation on the proposed solid waste materials recovery facility in Gary with "the other side" of the issue.  Sam Henderson, an attorney for the Hoosier Environmental Council, is in the studio to talk about the concerns that the HEC and local citizens, businesses and educational organizations like the Steel City Academy about Maya Energy LLC's proposal. 

NIPSCO, RTO Online

Today:   A conversation with Dr. Indra Frank, the environmental health director for the Hoosier Environmental Council, about a new report of the impact of coal-fired power plants' ash disposal pits on water quality in the areas near the pits.  The HEC used new data released for the first time as a requirement of the 2015 federal coal ash rule to create the report.  Dr. Frank goes through the data that affects northwest Indiana the most: coal ash coming from the Bailly Generation Station along Lake Michigan at the Port of Indiana and the Schaefer power plant in Jasper County.

A recently-founded group of conservative students and Republican municipal leaders is working to bring what it calls a conservative voice to energy conversations in Indiana.

Indiana Conservatives Alliance for Energy aims to connect Republicans who care about renewable power.

NUVO Magazine, Indianapolis

Today:   Hoosier Environmental Council executive director Jesse Kharbanda joins us to talk about the HEC's 2018 General Assembly policy priorities -- one of which isn't usually considered an environmental issue.  More information about them all is on the HEC website.

Carl Lisek of South Shore Clean Cities has the first episode of "Green Fleet Radio," a regular Wednesday feature on "Regionally Speaking."  He talks today with two Indiana Department of Environmental Management staffers:  Shawn Beals, the senior environmental manager and his colleague Ryan Clem.

Indiana joins 11 other states in a legal challenge against the state of California over egg production regulations. California passed a law in 2015 requiring all eggs sold there to come from hens raised with room to stand up and fully stretch their wings.

Eggs are a multi-billion dollar industry for Hoosiers and Indiana produces the third most eggs in the country. The state exports about one to four percent of its eggs to California each year.

Hoosier Environmental Council Outlines 2018 Goals

Dec 4, 2017

The Hoosier Environmental Council wants to reach out to conservative voters to help accomplish its goals as it heads into the 2018 legislative session.

evangelical environmental network

A man who considers himself a lifelong Republican -- and a staunch environmentalist -- will be keynote speaker for this year's "Greening the Statehouse" conference for the Hoosier Environmental Council.  

Rev. Mitch Hescock came on "Regionally Speaking" on Tuesday to talk about his life, his faith and the state of the environment that causes him concern.   

seniorplanet.org

Today:  We find out more from Bruce Lindner, the executive director of Porter County Aging and Community Service. Inc. about the help that his staff and volunteers offer to seniors to get them signed up for Medicare during the 2018 enrollment period that ends on December 7th.

Derek Schmitt, a district conservationist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture based in Valparaiso, joins us to talk about cover crops -- and why northwest Indiana farmers find planting them is so important to good soil management practices and in maintaining their operations. 

Michigan City Area Schools

Today:  We talk to Michigan City Area Schools Superintendent Barbara Eason-Watkins about the school district's "1:1" (one-student, one-device) high tech expansion program that includes Chromebook computers for students.  The program, supported by grants from the community and other sources, gives Michigan City students a chance to organize and enhance their work and stay engaged through "blended learning": the process of combining digital and traditional learning.  The program's picked up another "Innovators Award" for the school district from the Society of Innovators in Northwest Indiana

EPA Moves To Repeal Clean Power Plan

Oct 9, 2017

Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt announced Monday the Trump administration will repeal the Clean Power Plan.

The Clean Power Plan would reduce carbon emissions from power plants by 30 percent nationwide in an effort to slow man-made climate change.

Indiana and 27 other states previously sued the EPA over the Obama-era rule.

The U.S. Supreme Court blocked the rule from going into effect in 2016, a move that met the approval of industry groups such as the Indiana Coal Council.

UPDATE: In a statement late Friday, Duke Vice President George Hamrick said, Duke “determined that it is appropriate to post additional information related to emergency action plans for coal ash facilities….”

A federal rule from 2015 requires electric utilities to publish information on the safe disposal of coal ash. Hamrick says Duke last updated its emergency action plan before that rule went into effect, but, “after revisiting the issue… we agree it is appropriate to post additional information and make it available to the public.” 

NWI TIMES

Today:   The new Lake County Democratic Party chairman, James Weiser, joins us to talk about the change in leadership, his thoughts about how that change came about and his views on bringing together all local Democrats to meet the challenges that came after the November 2016 election that put Donald Trump into the White House. 

My Fearless Kitchen.com

A bill introduced by State Rep. Michael Aylesworth (R-11), who represents portions of Lake and Porter Counties, will come up for a House Environment Committee hearing on Wednesday in Indianapolis.

His measure would, if passed and enacted into law, eliminate some important state permit requirements for CAFOs in Indiana -- also known as "factory farms."  The Hoosier Environmental Council is concerned about the impact of these permit changes on Hoosiers who live near the facilities.