Hoosier Environmental Council

Budget cuts at the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and other state environmental agencies around the country are threatening public health. That’s according to a new report by the Environmental Integrity Project. 

Nuvo.net

Today:  Jesse Kharbanda, the executive diretcor of the Hoosier Environmental Council, joins us to talk about the organization's 2020 General Assembly agenda, including efforts for passage of  bills that offer more solar energy options for homeowners and mass transportation that uses clean-energy processes.  He also talks about last weekend's "Greening the Statehouse" program.  And Josh Hale, the CEO of Chicago-based Big  Shoulders Fund, talks about the independent charitable organization's long-range efforts to assist schools in the Gary Catholic Diocese of Gary with the help of a $16 million gift over 10 years from the Bruce and Beth White Family Foundation.  It will be the Big Shoulders Fund's first venture into northwest Indiana.

The Hoosier Environmental Council has outlined its goals for the upcoming legislative session. The group will talk about some of those at their annual Greening the Statehouse event Saturday, Nov. 16.

Think Progress website

Today:  On this "Reporters' Roundtable," we ask "Post-Tribune" reporter Meredith Colias-Pete and "Times" business reporter Joseph Pete to talk about the stories they put forth in print and online in their respective media.  Meredith's stories include one of a lawsuit filed by the EPA as it investigates the lead-and-arsenic contamination issue in East Chicago, and Joe Pete covers a lot of news-related ground about U.S. Steel and on the ceremony for Midland Metal Products' moving from Chicago into the old Lear Corp. plant in Hammond.  Lakeshore Public Radio's Sharon Jackson has her conversation with an author about the Maharishi Yogi's influence on the Beatles and their music. Ahd we add to the mix, our conversation with officials with the Hoosier Environmental Council on the agency's bringing "Improving Kids' Environment" into the HEC organization.

EPA Proposes Changes To Regulations On Coal Ash Use

Jul 31, 2019

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing even more changes to rules regarding coal ash. This week the agency announced plans to get rid of the limit for how much coal ash utilities can dump on land for certain uses. 

Two Hendricks County couples are petitioning the Indiana Court of Appeals to rehear their case against a neighboring farm with 8,000 hogs. They say the smell from the confined animal feeding operation or CAFO is making it difficult for them to eat or sleep. 

Meredith Colias-Pete, Post-Tribune

Today:   On this Reporters' Roundtable, we get education news updates from Meredith Colias-Pete with the "Post-Tribune," including the latest on the Lake Ridge New Tech Schools' financial problems and the just-completed General Assembly session.  Carole Carlson of the "Post-Tribune" tells us about an unexplained personnel issue in town government in New Chicago and the Lake Station Democratic Party mayoral candidates' forum.  And Dr Indira Frank of the Hoosier Environmental Council talks about a short-staffed IDEM office that needs to be fully-staffed and -funded, but probably was not, in

Midwest environmental groups are threatening to sue the Environmental Protection Agency for delaying action on polluted rivers and streams in Indiana.

The Environmental Law & Policy Center, the Alliance for the Great Lakes, and the Hoosier Environmental Council sent a letter Wednesday giving the EPA 60 days notice of their lawsuit. 

An environmental group says the state needs more staff to oversee drinking water protections in Indiana.  The Hoosier Environmental Council says the Indiana Department of Environmental Management has suffered a decade of budget cuts. 

Indiana Landmarks

Today:   Todd Zeiger,  the northern Indiana director of Indiana Landmarks is with us to talk about the offer that the non-profit preservation group is offering, in partnership with the National Park Service, to make the famous "House of Tomorrow" in Beverly Shores available for a 50-year lease to a party that will undertake its restoration.  The "House" is one of five "Century of Progress" homes brought over to Indiana in 1934, when the Chicago World's Fair closed.  Four of the homes have already been restored.  We have another edition of "Green Fleet Radio," supported by South Shore Clean

A proposed change to the controversial Waters of the United States rule could reduce the number of waters in Indiana regulated by the federal government. The Environmental Protection Agency announced the possible change Tuesday

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.

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