Environment

Environment news

Alan Berning / https://www.flickr.com/photos/14617207@N00/2621375759

Governor Mike Pence says he will use everything at his disposal to oppose new proposed federal regulations seeking to reduce carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. 

President Obama announced Monday the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed regulations seek to reduce carbon emissions 30-percent by the year 2030. 

The Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility / https://www.flickr.com/photos/armgov/4772756538

Central Indiana’s rapid temperature shift this week has produced the possibility for a rare weather condition: the cold air funnel.

Mike Baldwin, a meteorology professor in Purdue University’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, says it’s a type of weak tornado.

“During the day when the sun comes out, even a little bit of sunshine will warm up the surface and the low-level air enough for that air to become unstable,” Baldwin says.

Harsh Winter Sapping State's Wine Grape Crops

May 14, 2014
Raul Lieberwirth / Flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/lanier67/216341826/

Indiana Vineyards are losing as much as 75-percent of their grape yields this year because of last winter's deep freeze.

Winemakers like David Simmons, co-owner of Simmons Winery near Columbus, knew they were going to take a hit, but are just now discovering exactly how much they’ve lost as their grape vines begin to bud.

"It's been a very difficult winter, we've had a lot of bud damage on the vines," Simmons says.

Peregrine falcon no longer on IN's watchlist

Oct 15, 2013
Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Indiana has taken the peregrine falcon off the state endangered species list. The birds were removed from the federal endangered species list in 1999.

Habitat loss and pesticide use almost wiped out the peregrine falcon population in the 1960s. There weren’t any birds east of the Mississippi River by 1965. Indiana wildlife officials began trying to reintroduce the bird in the early 1990s.

Now those conservation efforts are paying off. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources removed the falcon from the state endangered species list this month.

Work will begin soon on a slum and blight spot in downtown Lafayette. The city and the Wabash River Enhancement Corporation (WREC) are moving forward with clean-up of the property once owned by Midwest Rentals. The 2.3 acre site sits along the river and is bounded by South Street, railroad tracks and Sycamore Street.

The Hoosier Environmental Council wants to help businesses reduce their energy costs. The group is hosting a workshop that also aims at green job creation.

Policy advisor Kris Wheeler hopes the online event gives business owners new resources to improve their operations. She says buildings consume about 40% of the energy we use, so finding efficiencies will save money.

“Lighting is about 30% of where your energy goes, so just using energy-efficient lighting can have a significant impact, or the business owner can do a top-to-bottom, full building retrofit.”

Downtown Lafayette "blight" to be cleaned up

Jun 12, 2013
Google Maps

A former industrial site in downtown Lafayette should be cleaned up later this summer. The 2.3 acres are just south of South Street along the river.

It was officially designated a slum and blight spot by the city council last year.

Wabash River Enhancement Corporation (WREC) executive director Stan Lambert says the organization bought the property in 2010.

SCOTUS rules against IN, Pence vows to fight

May 29, 2013

The U-S Supreme Court is declining to review a lower court decision that prevents the state of Indiana from cutting Planned Parenthood out of its Medicaid program.

Governor Mitch Daniels signed a bill in 2011 that prevented Medicaid recipients from being reimbursed for health services at Planned Parenthood because some of its clinics offer abortions.

Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union challenged the law in court.

Purdue hosts Earth Day activities

Apr 22, 2013

Purdue's Earth Day activities today (Mon) will feature exhibits, games and demonstrations along with campus and community project presentations.

The activities will conclude with a lecture by retired U.S. Marines Colonel Mark Mykleby.

Mykleby served as special strategic assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from July 2009 to April 2011.

His talk, titled "Sustainability: Our National Strategic Initiative," is set for 5:30 in Forney Hall of Chemical Engineering.

The Hoosier Environmental Council wants to see progress in bringing high speed passenger rail to Indiana, and wants the public to get involved.

The Midwest Regional Rail System plan goes back to the 1990s, with the goal of connecting Milwaukee, Chicago, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Detroit and Cleveland.

More federal funding has been made available in recent years, so states are jumping into action.

But Tim Maloney with the Hoosier Environmental Council says Indiana is lagging behind neighboring states.

Purdue University

Purdue will use $33.1 million to move away from coal-powered energy and toward natural gas.

The money comes from what was supposed to be used to build a clean-coal boiler, but that project was canceled last year. A state committee approved the financing deal Wednesday.

Administrators say Purdue is now focusing on natural gas projects, which are more viable for the future.

U.S. Drought Monitor

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is designating more Indiana counties a disaster area due to the ongoing drought.

The additional 14 counties are: Blackford, Boone, Clinton, Delaware, Fountain, Henry, Madison, Montgomery, Rush, Tippecanoe, Tipton, Vermillion, Vigo and White.

Farmers and ranchers in each of those counties, and ones contiguous to them, are available for federal disaster assistance, such as low-interest loans.

As Indiana continues to suffer through weeks of extreme heat conditions, people are looking for ways  to save money on their energy bills.  Now, the state and its utility companies are offering home audits to help Hoosiers cut costs.

Drought worsens, leaves farmers with few options

Jul 19, 2012
Mike Loizzo / WBAA News

The fields of corn surrounding Idaville in eastern White County look pretty sad. They’re not very tall and they’re starting to brown. Typically, these fields yield anywhere from 165-to-175 bushels per acre, but not this year.

“We’ve been counting ears the last couple days," says Brian Scott. "We’re thinking the good stuff is 120, if we’re accurate.”

New rules affect IN livestock, poultry producers

Jul 9, 2012
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

While Indiana livestock and poultry producers are concerned with the hot weather, many might have winter on their minds.

Rules that just took effect prohibit most large-scale operators from spreading animal manure on frozen or snow-covered fields.

Tamilee Nennich is a nutrient management specialist with Purdue Extension. She says producers should be prepared to store manure longer.

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