Environment

Environment news

Dan Jeffrey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/danjeffrey/5182805581

Residents who live near the site of an old lead smelter in Indianapolis heard details Thursday night of plans to remove tainted soil from as many as 100 homes starting later this month.

For decades, the smelter in the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood reclaimed lead from car batteries and other industrial waste.

Ten years ago, the EPA forced its owners to clean up contaminated soil from hundreds of homes around the site.

tanakawho / https://www.flickr.com/photos/28481088@N00/

Researchers from Purdue and other universities published a major global analysis of invasive species threats. The study found invasive species will primarily endanger developing countries.

Jeff Dukes, a Purdue University biology and forestry professor, calls invasive species plants or animals that have invaded an area they’re not native to.

courtesy Sierra Club

Seven environmental health and justice organizations, including the Sierra Club, are suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over what they say are outdated toxicity standards for lead.  

The suit comes as authorities explore just how contaminated the heavy metal has made the soil in East Chicago.

Thinkprogress.org health writer Alex Zelinski says the lawsuit claims the EPA – and not the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- should have kept more accurate records on the alarming rise of health effects of lead on humans. 

Judy Palermo/Indianapolis Zoo

Voluntary conservation farming practices are measurably decreasing nutrient pollution in the Mississippi River Basin, and this good news: from the Midwest, all the way down the Mississippi River in the Gulf of Mexico. As Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Nick Janzen reports, the Indiana trend in conservation is reducing the pollution that creates harmful algae blooms and the gulf’s dead zone.

The Indianapolis Zoo, as part of the dolphin exhibit, has a video of dolphins swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. They’re swimming near a boat, pushing air through their blowholes.

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

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