Environment news

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.

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.