Environment news

Rob Slaven / https://www.flickr.com/photos/robslaven/8164380227

Trail advocates in Northeast Indiana want to create the largest trail system in the state. They plan to create an 81-mile trail from Angola to Bluffton.

The proposed trail was recently named the Poka-bache Connector. The first part of the name -- Poka -- comes from Pokagon State Park in Angola, which is where the trail will begin.

The path will travel downstate for 81 miles and end at Ouabache (pronounced Wabash) State Park in Bluffton, which is where the second part of the name Poka-bache comes from.

Michael Marusin / https://www.flickr.com/photos/marusin/202386456

A new bison herd arrived in Northwest Indiana over the weekend with a unique role – as conservation assistants.

A livestock semi trailer from South Dakota pulled into the The Nature Conservancy’s Kankakee Sands project along U.S. 41 before dawn Saturday, backed into a newly fenced field, and opened the gates.

Over the next 30 minutes, the bison made their way out of the truck, disappearing into the tall grass of an 1100-acre prairie restoration. Land steward Tony Capizzo says these large vegetarian creatures aren’t just for show.

Suit Wants Indiana Added To Smog Producers List

Oct 14, 2016
Paul Falardeau / https://www.flickr.com/photos/pfala/

Indiana could be forced to reduce power plant emissions that cause smog. That’s because of a lawsuit filed by six northeastern states against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed the lawsuit with five other states last week. Those states are asking the EPA to add Indiana and eight other Midwestern and Southeastern states to the so-called Ozone Transport Region.

Aristrocrat-hat (Flickr)

Five coal plants in Indiana ranked in the top 100 for both toxic and greenhouse gas pollution, according to a new analysis from the Center for Public Integrity.

That’s more “super polluters” than any other state in the country.

Peabody Energy

Some Hoosiers and Appalachia residents are advocating for federal dollars to restore abandoned coal mines.

The RECLAIM Act would free up $34 million over five years for Indiana.

Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign representative Matt Skuya-Boss says it would cost nearly $200 million to restore all of Indiana’s abandoned mines.

Nick Janzen / Indiana Public Broadcasting

The Environmental Protection Agency is moving forward on plans to clean up a lead contaminated residential neighborhood in East Chicago.

The EPA has split the 3,000-person neighborhood in three, with a different plan for each part.

The Calumet neighborhood of East Chicago sits on a Superfund site that’s divided into three zones – 1,2 and 3 – based on who’s asked to pay for the cleanup.

EPA Regional Administrator Robert Kaplan says the lead contaminated soil in Zone 3 will simply be removed -- dug out.

Lauren Chapman / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Two months after East Chicago residents learned they'd have to move due to unsafe levels of lead in their neighborhood, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has reached out directly to federal officials about the situation.

Pence wrote to and called Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro on Tuesday, asking about details of the relocation process for more than 1,000 residents of West Calumet Housing Complex. Most of them are minorities, nearly 94 percent, and 551 are children.

Josh Mogerman / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jmogs/14142287984

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management is considering a penalty against BP's large refinery in the Lake County town of Whiting.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management could fine BP up to $25,000 for each of the three violations. 

The BP Whiting Refinery operates along the shore of Lake Michigan. The refinery is permitted to discharge up to 5,700 pounds of wastewater pollutants into the lake every day. The pollution is a combination of scum, debris, and wastewater from normal refining operations.

Wendell Smith / https://www.flickr.com/photos/wendellsmith/8954136170

A years-long Purdue University experiment is testing whether ginseng can be cultivated by Indiana farmers.

Ginseng, commonly used as an herbal remedy, grows wild in most of Indiana. The Purdue Department of Forestry is trying to grow the plant in what’s called a “simulated wild grow.”

Purdue Extension Forester Lenny Farlee says ginseng has been over-harvested in the past, so the department aims to add to the ginseng supply and help cultivate native growing.

Dan Jeffrey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/danjeffrey/5182805581

Residents who live near the site of an old lead smelter in Indianapolis heard details Thursday night of plans to remove tainted soil from as many as 100 homes starting later this month.

For decades, the smelter in the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood reclaimed lead from car batteries and other industrial waste.

Ten years ago, the EPA forced its owners to clean up contaminated soil from hundreds of homes around the site.