Environment

Environment news

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

White County officials are in the process of designating a mandatory distance between a confined animal feeding operation, or CAFO, and a body of water.

The White County Area Planning Commission wrote the ordinance back in April. The rule creates a mile and a half buffer zone between confined animal feeding operations, CAFOs, and the county’s major waterways.

Proposed Indiana Wind Farm Stirs Opposition

May 9, 2016
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shock399/6982028631/

A Texas-based corporation wants to build a wind farm in northwestern Henry County, but the plan is drawing opposition from some local residents.

The Calpine Corporation intends to build 80 to 100 turbines for a 200 megawatt wind farm. The proposed Big Blue River Wind Farm would include the townships of Greensboro, Jefferson, Harrison, and Prairie.

Henry County resident Susie Eichhorn opposes the plan.  

Her family owns a farm in the area, and Calpine Corporation wants to lease part of their property.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

 Residents from about 10 central Indiana counties were in Columbus Monday to hear from experts on the impacts of large confined animal feeding operations known as CAFOs.

The talk brought out concerned residents in Bartholomew and surrounding counties.

It was organized by Indiana CAFO Watch and the Socially Responsible Agriculture Project.

Retired University of Missouri agricultural economist John Ikerd was one of the speakers.

Annie Ropeik/Indiana Public Broadcasting

 

A property rights battle over public access to Indiana's Lake Michigan shore is moving forward with a new issue in the mix -- erosion.

Patricia Sharkey's home in the LaPorte County town of Long Beach is about a block away from a stretch of huge lakefront summer houses. In 2013, homeowners there sued the state, contending their private property extends all the way to the water.

Indiana Recycling Coalition / http://www.indianarecycling.org/recycle/indiana-food-scrap-initiative/

An estimated 35 million tons of food is discarded each year in the U.S., equaling $165 billion in food waste, according to the Indiana Recycling Coalition.

A new program launched this week, the Indiana Food Scrap Initiative, will work with organizations that generate a lot of food waste, such as grocery stores, and help them find resources for composting the food.

Indiana Recycling Coalition executive director Carey Hamilton says they hope working on a larger scale will eventually inspire individuals to participate as well.

Indiana DNR

The so-called "Indiana Bear," who made headlines around the state when it wandered into the Michigan City area, has been shot and killed.

The black bear, who hailed from southern Michigan, was humanely euthanized by that state's wildlife officials after it attempted to break through a resident's door. 

The first bear humans have seen in Indiana in 140 years, the creature had regular run-ins with Hoosiers last summer, breaking into trash cans, upending bird feeders and looking through windows. 

Betty B / https://www.flickr.com/photos/betty_b/3735467627

The popular Mt. Baldy sand dune along the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore will remain closed to the general public once again this summer. The National Park Service won’t reopen the site until it’s safe.  

The National Park Service closed Mt. Baldy after a section of the dune collapsed in 2013. That hole trapped a 6-year-old boy under 11 feet of sand. The boy survived.

Since then geologists have been studying the dune, trying to determine what caused the hole to form.

Daniel X. O'Neil / https://www.flickr.com/photos/juggernautco/

More than 100 Indiana sewage systems, including those in Lafayette and West Lafayette, are undergoing millions of dollars in upgrades to comply with U.S. EPA regulations that restrict the overflow during heavy rains of untreated wastewater into rivers and streams.

Purdue Researchers: Sponges Can Soak Up Contaminants

Apr 5, 2016
Justin Weibel / Purdue University

Purdue University researchers have found a way to separate oil and other contaminants from water using materials you can find around the house. The discovery may lead to way to clean up environmental spills.

The scientists take melamine sponges similar to those found in cleaning pads or insulation then dip them into a solution of silicone rubber and hexane solvent. That creates a thin coating that repels water, and at the same time allows the sponges to absorb materials like oil, hydrocarbons, PCBs and some pesticides.

Tom Gill / https://www.flickr.com/photos/lapstrake/16144565664

Indiana’s Dunes National Lakeshore is helping scientists study the effects of climate change on maple syrup production. The park is the only site in the Midwest to take part in the study.

University of Massachusetts Amherst professor Joshua Rapp says Indiana is an important location for the study. It’s near the western edge of maple trees’ natural range-- which runs from Canada to Virginia, and the Atlantic to the Midwest.

The study looks at the ways a changing climate will affect the chemistry and sugar content of maple sap.

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