Environment

Environment news

Benjamin Stäudinger / https://www.flickr.com/photos/ontourwithben/

After peaking at 21 feet in West Lafayette, nearly twice the 11 foot flood stage, floodwaters are receding in the Wabash and Tippecanoe Rivers.

Indianapolis National Weather Service Hydrologist Al Shipe says storms dumped up to six inches of rain on West Central Indiana during the past week.  

But Tippecanoe and surrounding counties aren’t seeing the devastating floods sweeping through Missouri and Illinois because it was a dry fall, and local rivers had capacity to hold the rain.

Indiana Celebrates 100 Years Of State Parks

Dec 16, 2015
Dave Emerson / https://www.flickr.com/photos/daveemerson/

Indiana State Parks kicked off their 100th birthday celebration at McCormick’s Creek State Park in Owen County today, the first of many events planned leading up to the official centennial next year.

McCormick’s Creek was established as Indiana’s first state park in 1916. A full year of events celebrating that anniversary started Wednesday, as dozens of people gathered at the park’s Canyon Inn for a traditional 1916-style breakfast followed by a hike.

Park Manager Dwight Brooks says McCormick’s Creek was actually a gift to the state for its centennial.

Sarah Fentem / WBAA

The Wabash River occupies a comfortable position in Indiana consciousness. The state designated the waterway as its official river in 1996, and marching bands and a cappella groups pay it homage before Purdue football games and the Little 500 bicycle race. But until earlier this year, no one knew exactly how much the state depended on the river.

Bette Carson / WBAA News

Tippecanoe County residents served by American Suburban Utilities will make their case this evening against the company’s plan to double the monthly sewer fee within three years.

ASU owner Scott Lods notified customers in September that he wants to increase fees to cover the cost of expanding a waste water treatment plant, as well as upgrading sewer lines and three lift stations.

Dave Emerson / https://www.flickr.com/photos/daveemerson/

 Environmental groups are gearing up for their annual "Greening the Statehouse" event this weekend at the University of Indianapolis, where they'll be learning about the EPA's new rules on coal ash storage.

The ash is a byproduct of coal-burning power plants, and it contains heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium and arsenic. It's often stored wet, in sludge ponds, and Indiana has more of them than any other state. 

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

US Senator Joe Donnelly says the Environmental Protection Agency needs to collaborate with small businesses and the agricultural community before crafting new water regulations, legislation co-sponsored by the Hoosier Democrat failed to clear a procedural hurdle in the Senate Tuesday.

The EPA regulates navigable waterways under the Clean Water Act.  But the federal agency sought to broaden its regulatory reach by redefining what’s known as the Waters of the United States law to include smaller bodies of water, including streams, ponds, and drainage ditches. 

fensterbme / https://www.flickr.com/photos/fensterbme/

The public has until Saturday to weigh in on the strategic plan that will guide how the state’s forestlands are used over the next four years. It proposes higher user fees – and no rollback in logging on state-owned land. 

A little more than 10 years ago, the Division of Forestry sold about 3 million board feet each year from state-controlled land. But today, more than four times that much timber – 14 million board feet – leaves the forest each year.

Specially-Bred Purdue Bees Are Biting Back

Oct 28, 2015
Sarah Fentem / WBAA

  

For around a decade, beekeepers have seen around one-quarter to one-third of their colonies die every year. There are many potential causes for the die-off, but most scientists agree a parasitic mite is a major factor.

Purdue entomologist Greg Hunt says if a bee were human-sized, the mite would be about the size of a balled-up fist. Other scientists say the size is more comparable to a pancake.

But now, Purdue University scientists have bred special bees that are biting back.

Niels Paul / https://www.flickr.com/photos/nureinpaarfotos/4481300759

A group of Indiana climate scientists say the Pence administration doesn’t understand the science of climate change and needs to take action to address the issue.

Gabriel Filippelli is an IUPUI earth sciences professor and led a group of scientists in penning a letter to Governor Mike Pence.  Filippelli says the reality of climate change – and that humans are largely responsible for it – is no longer debated by the scientific community. 

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

Indiana is once again headed to federal court to block and Environmental Protection Agency regulation. 

Indiana was part of an effort to block the EPA's power plant rule before it became final. The latest lawsuit -- involving Indiana and 23 other states -- takes aim at the regulation now that it's taken effect. 

The EPA rule would require Hoosier state power plants to reduce their carbon emissions between 30 and 38 percent by 2030....a mandate Gov. Mike Pence calls ill-conceived, saying it will be too costly for the state to comply, 

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