Environment news

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Supporters of legislation that would regulate Indiana high-fenced deer hunting say the recent resolution of a decade-long court battle – negating any state authority over the industry – will give them traction this session. 

The state court system ultimately decided last year that Indiana has no authority under current law to regulate the hunting facilities. Rodney Bruce, the owner of one of Indiana’s high-fenced deer hunting preserves, where people can pay money to hunt farm-raised deer in an enclosed area, says that makes this year’s legislation critical.

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

Purdue research showing that during some months, residents along the Wabash River use an amount of water equal to the river’s entire volume has raised questions about a new problem – tracking all that h2o. A study from the university’s school of civil engineering shows a huge lack of cooperation among county, state and federal agencies when it comes to reporting water usage.

Norm Hoekstra / https://www.flickr.com/photos/norjam8/

A new program that’s running this year will let library patrons check out Indiana State Parks for free.

The State Park Centennial Library Check-out program provides 240 park entrance passes, one for every library in Indiana.  Starting January 1, Hoosiers with a library card can check-out a free pass just like a book.  It will be up to the library to decide when the pass needs to be returned.

Susanne Nilsson / https://www.flickr.com/photos/infomastern/

After one of the warmest Decembers on record. Indiana is set to see some more familiar winter weather heading into the new year.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Jason Puma says the El-Nino-fueled jet stream that was pushing cold temperatures north into Canada is losing steam, and nature is leaving behind the spring-like temps Hoosiers enjoyed in December.

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.