Hoosier Chapter

Explore, enjoy, and protect the planet.

In The News


Indy to IPL: Close the Harding Street Coal Plant!

About 150 Indianapolis residents, representing more than 40 organization sent a message to Indianapolis Power & Light: that a world-class city like Indianapolis deserves better than the heavy pollution produced by the Harding Street coal plant on the city's southwest side. As reported in this Indianapolis Star article, "One speaker blamed it for giving him asthma. Another said its haze-forming emissions are so bad they sometimes obscure the Downtown skyline. And a third said it's a 19th-century anachronism.'


Earth Day / Month activities exist throughout Indiana (These are just a few!)

  • Carmel: Going Solar (April 16): Does hearing about solar farms make you start to think about how you might take advantage of solar technology?  Would you like to be "Going Solar" but don't know where to start? Have your questions answered by local green energy experts.  Also hear Albert Chen, founder and President of Telamon Corporation, talk about the amazing solar farm at the Indianapolis International Airport. More info here from Carmel Green Initiative.
  • Valparaiso: NW Indiana: Earth Day Celebration (April 19): This regional tradition connects attendees with environmental organizations, exhibitors, businesses and vendors that engage them in fun and entertaining ways so guests can learn about living greener and becoming more environmentally-conscious. Join us for this ninth annual event, the largest Earth Day event in Northwest Indiana. More info here.
  • South Bend: GreenTown Michiana (April 22): GreenTown brings together the public sector and the private sector to connect the dots, to inspire and to work together to remake our communities. From healthy living to local food, energy to green infrastructure, water to outdoor space, GreenTown will help you make the healthy choice the easy choice. More information here.
  • Indianapolis: Earth Day Indiana Festival in White River State Park (April 26) is the premier Earth Day event in central Indiana. Going on its 25th year, the Festival has grown to be one of the nation's largest Earth Day events, featuring 130 environmental and conservation exhibits, live music, special activities for kids and good food - in five action-packed hours. Don't miss this one! Click here for more information.
  • Indianapolis: JCC's Earth Day Community Celebration (April 27): Come to a lively, creative and green day at the Jewish Community Center of Indianapolis.  This free family-friendly event is a great way to spend an afternoon outdoors. More information is here.
  • Bartholomew County: Fundraiser in the Park (April 27). Join a gathering of friends at Anderson Falls in celebration of Earth Day. At this fundraiser for the Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter you will hear about the successful efforts to save this beautiful park and nature preserve. Spring wildflowers should be near their prime. Sunday, April 27th, 3-5pm at Anderson Falls County Park between Columbus and Hartsville. More information here.
  • We are often updating our calendar, so check back for more on our online Events Calendar.


Governor allows Legislature to kill Indiana's energy efficiency program

Gov. Mike Pence let a bill that eliminates an important energy conservation program become law without his signature, prompting harsh words from consumers and businesses that have benefitted from the program. Here is what some others have said about this: Utilities have juice (from Jim Shella's blog); Generate support for energy conservation (editorial from NWIndiana Times); Pence's lack of action kills Energize Indiana (Nuvo).


Our Threatened Heritage - The Mounds Reservoir Proposal

A plan to dam the White River and create a 7 mile long reservoir spanning Madison and Delaware counties (and covering former dump sites) is under consideration. This plan is a cause for concern. A presentation by author and botanist Kevin Tungesvick was made on March 10th before an audience in Indianapolis in which Tungesvick talks about the area, its natural resources and the potential impact of the project in this presentation.


Indiana's solar industry added 960 jobs in 2013

A report by The Solar Foundation found that Indiana saw 960 new solar jobs last year. That was a 178-percent increase from 2012 and pushed the state up two notches nationally to rank it 25th in solar-industry jobs. Read more here.


EPA: Harding Street Coal Plant responsible for 88% of Marion County’s toxic pollution

According to EPA’s most recent Toxic Release Inventory data, the Harding Street plant released more than 1.6 million pounds of toxic pollutants into the air, land, and water in 2012, posing real public health threats to Indianapolis residents and those upwind and downstream from the plant. "IPL's corporate profits should not come at the expense of my family's right to breath clean air or to live in a community free from contaminated soil and water," said Heidi Hesse, a single mom who lives downwind of the plant on Indianapolis' east side.  "I teach my son to clean up the messes he makes:  The time is past for IPL to clean up its messes for the benefit of all Indianapolis residents." Read more here.


Indy Star's Matt Tully: "At the Statehouse, protection for polluters"

"The state legislature is in session, so you can assume, with confidence, that Indiana’s already fragile and battered environment is taking another beating. It happens every year at the Statehouse, where powerful special interests representing factory farms push cringe-worthy pieces of legislation filled with gifts for the industry...." Tully nails it. Read his January 29th column here.


Indianapolis Blogger concludes "We Can’t Afford Coal"

Indy Blogger Shawndra Miller recently attended a neighborhood gathering to discuss IPL's Harding Street coal-fired power plant. Among her observations was this: "Two city maps made the plant’s impact visible. One showed asthma-related ER visits in Marion County, and the other depicted mercury levels in waterways and soil. In both cases it was clear how the neighborhoods northeast of the plant (including my own) are burdened as the prevailing winds blow the pollution our way." Read more about Shawndra Miller's insights about what the Harding Street plant's impact on Indianapolis.


Sierrans are monitoring waterways in Central Indiana

We are looking for volunteers who will collect and analyze water samples on at least a monthly basis. Learn more on our Protecting Indiana's Waters page.


Other Information of Interest to Members


"Accomplishments" published by Chapter
A quick review of some recent accomplishments is available for online review. Click the above link for more information.


"Donor Opportunities" published by Chapter
A summary of options for financial donors is now available for online review. The fact-sheet reviews various funds that prospective donors might consider in contributing to the work of Sierra Club in Indiana. Click the above link for more information.


Why children in southwest Indiana are surrounded by toxins
There are two industries in Rockport, Indiana, that release 30 million pounds of toxic chemicals into the environment. A report considers the serious consequences this has on its residents, particularly children.