Environment news

Drought Affecting Parts Of Southern Indiana

Dec 1, 2016
Of the major corn and soybean states, Indiana was one of the worst affected by the 2012 drought. Assoc. State Climatologist Ken Scheeringa says this year's drought is not as serious.
Of the major corn and soybean states, Indiana was one of the worst affected by the 2012 drought. Assoc. State Climatologist Ken Scheeringa says this year's drought is not as serious.


More than half of Indiana is experiencing abnormally dry soil conditions and parts of 22 southern Indiana counties are experiencing moderate or severe drought.

But Ken Scheeringa, Indiana’s associate state climatologist, says the situation isn’t as bad as it could be.

“The timing is everything. Summer time is not good. Fall is not so bad,” says Scheeringa.

Summer drought conditions affect crop production, but since harvest has wrapped up, Scheeringa says the impacts of a fall drought are limited.

EDP Renewables

The northern half of Indiana has long been touted as a good place to invest in wind energy—the state has the 12th most wind turbines in the country.

But just because companies are investing in wind infrastructure, doesn’t mean the industry is booming quite the way it once was.

In 2007, Indiana had no large wind turbines.

By 2009, the state’s more than 600 turbines produced enough energy to power nearly 400,000 homes.

Leigh DeNoon / http://www.ipbs.org/

The ongoing drought from southwest Indiana to the Gulf of Mexico is contributing to wildfire blazes stretching from Kentucky to the Carolinas.

Indiana DNR fire coordinator Darren Bridges says three fire operations support members were dispatched just over a week ago.

"We have one in North Carolina. We have one in Georgia and also one in Tennessee,” Bridges says. One is a dispatcher, one is a fire behavior analyst and one is a division supervisor. 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Hoosiers will find a constitutional amendment on the ballot this November for the first time in six years.

This amendment would protect a citizen’s right to hunt and fish. 

But Indiana Public Broadcasting's Nick Janzen reports some people are wondering what the amendment will actually do.

Public Question number 1 asks voters to “forever preserve” a Hoosier’s right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife.

Irene Grassi / https://www.flickr.com/photos/sun_sand_sea

The leaves are falling in Indiana, but temperatures... not so much. The weather has been unseasonably warm this fall, with highs in the 80s across the state at the beginning of November.

Chanh Kieu is an Indiana University atmospheric science professor. He says parts of Indiana are experiencing temperatures around 5-7 degrees warmer than the average.

"In particular, in October, and now they say even in early of November, we still see the trend of warming for the next few days," Kieu says.

More Lead Cleanup To Begin Soon In East Chicago

Oct 28, 2016
Sarah Fentem / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Cleanup begins soon on one of the sections of the lead contaminated West Calumet neighborhood in East Chicago. 

It comes after the Environmental Protection Agency found arsenic in the soil and announced lead contamination levels 100 times higher than what’s considered safe.  

In this section of the site, the EPA will remove contaminated soil from 13 yards. Crews will dig down about 2 feet, dispose of the contaminated soil, and replace it with lead-free soil.

This is one of three zones in the cleanup site.

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.