Environment

Environment news

Sarah Altendorf / https://www.flickr.com/photos/sarah_elizabeth_simpson/

Indiana ranks 12th in the nation for the number of wind turbines, and wind energy production is projected to grow.

But Clinton County -- which had one of the state’s first wind ordinances – is now embroiled in talks about whether there will ever be any turbines there.

The Clinton County Area Planning Commission is collecting public comments from residents—for example, how much noise people are willing to tolerate—before they update its wind farm zoning ordinances.

Nick Janzen

This election year, a wall between Mexico and the United States is causing a stir.

But in northern Indiana, a different kind of wall has been roiling waters.

Along the Lake Michigan shoreline in LaPorte County, groups of residents are battling over the consequences of building sea walls -- which keep water from encroaching on land.

Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Nick Janzen reports the fight may turn on what “private property” actually means.

Greg Lipps

Indiana has lost 95 percent of its wetlands since the 1800s, mostly to agricultural and housing developments.

A non-profit group based in Fort Wayne is working to restore wetlands in the watershed of the Little River, a headwater tributary of the Wabash River.

It’s one of the largest wetland restoration projects in the state.

As Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Nick Janzen reports, researchers are watching in the area salamanders to learn about the health of the ecosystem.

ECP / https://www.flickr.com/photos/shamanic-shift/

A Kentucky man is facing the rare charge of timber theft in Indiana, which could land him up to 10 months in prison.

Cheyenne Allen of Salyersville, Kentucky, is facing federal charges after being caught in an illegal timber scheme.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the US Attorney’s Office worked together on the case, which is the first time someone has been charged for timber theft in Indiana.

Duke Energy / https://www.duke-energy.com/power-plants/coal-fired/edwardsport.asp

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management, or IDEM, is writing new rules for the disposal of coal ash.

The update is part of a federal overhaul aimed at tightening regulations governing coal combustion residuals, or CCRs.

The waste, commonly referred to as coal ash, is a byproduct of burning coal for electricity.

The new rules from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency set requirements for how electric utilities dispose of coal ash.

But the EPA leaves it up to the states to write a plan for meeting the federal requirements.

Andy Simonds / https://www.flickr.com/photos/andyrs/

According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the number of urban coyotes has increased 15-fold since the turn of the century.

People used to country living have long been accustomed to the “ar-ar-arooo” howl of the coyote, but city dwellers in Indiana are getting used to it, too. The DNR says thanks to urban expansion, coyote encounters with people are more common than ever before.

Indiana DNR wildlife biologist Megan Dillon says coyotes, for the most part, aren’t anything to worry about, even though may boast a not-so-nice-reputation

Tom Campbell / Purdue University

A new study from Purdue University finds honeybees are exposed to far more pesticides than previously thought.

Most research on pesticide use and honeybees focus on neonicotinoids, an insecticide applied to corn and soybean crops that’s harmful to bees.

But Purdue entomology professor Christian Krupke wanted to know what happens to bees when they’re not feeding on crop pollen.

Lake Michigan Water At Highest Level In 16 Years

May 27, 2016
Ralf Huelsmann/WIki Commons

Lake Michigan’s water level is currently a foot higher than its long-term average of 578.8 feet. Lead forecaster at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Detroit District Lauren Fry points to higher than average rain and snow levels.

“The reason they’re so high really started during 2013 and 2014 when the lakes had above average water supplies,” she says.

With more water entering the lakes, and the same amount of water leaving the lakes, water levels have gone up.

David Cornwell / https://www.flickr.com/photos/dave_cornwell/14959884063

On Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed to increase the amount of biofuel in gasoline, a metric known as the Renewable Fuel Standard. That means more ethanol produced in the state will find its way into people’s cars.

The increase is good news for Indiana’s farmers. Kyle Cline is the National Policy Advisor at the Indiana Farm Bureau.

“Indiana’s a leading state in ethanol production,” he says, “and [the RFS] has been very important for our farmers’ bottom line and business.”

Duke Energy / https://www.duke-energy.com/power-plants/coal-fired/edwardsport.asp

The Environmental Protection Agency has been tightening pollution standards for toxic emissions, and regulations are likely to increase in the future.

The new rules push utilities toward cleaner energy production, but they’re also costly.

Coal-fired power plants in Indiana are balancing federal demands with business pressures in a number of ways.

Some, like Indianapolis Power and Light’s plant in Indianapolis, are converting to run on natural gas.

Others are shutting down, like the plant owned by Duke Energy in Terre Haute.

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