Hoosier Environmental Council

EPA Moves To Repeal Clean Power Plan

Oct 9, 2017

Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt announced Monday the Trump administration will repeal the Clean Power Plan.

The Clean Power Plan would reduce carbon emissions from power plants by 30 percent nationwide in an effort to slow man-made climate change.

Indiana and 27 other states previously sued the EPA over the Obama-era rule.

The U.S. Supreme Court blocked the rule from going into effect in 2016, a move that met the approval of industry groups such as the Indiana Coal Council.

UPDATE: In a statement late Friday, Duke Vice President George Hamrick said, Duke “determined that it is appropriate to post additional information related to emergency action plans for coal ash facilities….”

A federal rule from 2015 requires electric utilities to publish information on the safe disposal of coal ash. Hamrick says Duke last updated its emergency action plan before that rule went into effect, but, “after revisiting the issue… we agree it is appropriate to post additional information and make it available to the public.” 

courtesy Purdue University

Purdue is set to receive almost $20 million from the National Science Foundation to run a research center studying what its leaders are calling “bridge fuels” – in other words, fuel made from gas that's trapped in underground rock. It's extracted through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The researchers say it’ll be needed to satisfy the country’s demand for oil until renewable resources like wind and solar become dominant in the future.

But there was no mention of the “f-word” – fracking -- during a public celebration of the grant or in any of the promotional materials concerning it.

Half a dozen homeowners in rural Bartholomew County will get to pay less in property taxes because they live near concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs.

The decision comes about a year after the families in the town of Hope appealed to the county about the impact of large hog farms on their home values.

After the county denied their requests in March, the neighbors appealed the case to the State Board of Tax Review.

Mounds Greenway Hits Potential Hurdle In Anderson

Jul 5, 2017

The Mounds Greenway is generating support from some — but, importantly, not all — local public officials in east central Indiana.

The mayors of Westfield, Carmel and Noblesville joined the mayor of Muncie in voicing public support for the Mounds Greenway, a proposed 17-mile trail that would run along the White River between Muncie and Anderson. The Hoosier Environmental Council wants to see the trail eventually extend west past Anderson into Hamilton and Marion counties.

President Donald Trump called the Paris climate accord “draconian” and “onerous” when he announced the U.S. would withdraw from the agreement, but the decision’s benefits to Indiana’s energy landscape are unclear.

Countries plan for themselves how to make the effects of climate change less severe under the Paris climate agreement. Generally, countries can adopt renewable energy sources, limit carbon emissions, or do both.

Drew Daudelin / IPBS

Environmental group leaders spoke Tuesday to protest the Trump administration’s proposed cut in EPA funding. They highlighted the EPA’s role in hazardous waste removal.

The Trump administration proposes reducing EPA funding in 2018 by 31 percent – the largest proposed cut of any Cabinet departments or major agency.

Indra Frank, policy director at the Hoosier Environmental Council, spoke Tuesday in front of the Williamson industrial site in downtown Indianapolis. The building was abandoned one year ago, full of leftover toxic waste.

 

Environmentalists around the state are gearing up for the 2017 legislative session, and some will make the case that greater environmental protection is crucial for economic development.

Jesse Kharbanda, executive director of the Hoosier Environmental Council, says one priority is to get increased funding for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. Since 2007, state funding for IDEM has been cut by 25 percent. Kharbanda says that means less money for the agency to enforce regulations, monitor pollution or hire personnel.

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.

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

A bill that mandated new environmental regulations could not exceed federal standards is headed to the governor’s desk. It heads there only after significant changes.

The Senate passed the so-called "No More Stringent Than" bill, House Bill 1082, after significant amendments. The bill now only requires the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, or IDEM, to report proposed changes for legislative review.

Senate sponsor Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso) led the bill’s overhaul.

Pages