Hoosier Chapter

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In The News


“I’m not a tree-hugger. I’m a kid-hugger"

A fascinating article by John Rudolf, published in Notre Dame Magazine, profiles Dubois County pediatrician turned activist Norma Kreilein and the fight for healthy air in SW Indiana she found herself drawn into. “People need to know this is a crisis,” she says. “The true amount of suffering is astronomical.” Read "Trouble in the Air" here.


Indpls Councilors to IPL: Eliminate coal by 2020

Two City-County Council members want Indianapolis Power & Light Co. to stop burning coal in Marion County by 2020 and shift more attention to renewable energy. Councilors Zach Adamson, at-large, and William “Duke” Oliver, 10th District, on Monday evening introduced a resolution calling on IPL to work with the council and the Indianapolis Office of Sustainability to shift away from coal. Read more in the Indianapolis Business Journal.


Missouri veto on captive deer hunting strikes a chord in Indiana

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon dealt a blow to the fenced hunting industry in what's being called a bellwether case. Nixon vetoed legislation that would have transferred oversight of the state's deer breeders from wildlife officials to Missouri's agriculture department. "White-tailed deer are wildlife, and they are also a game animal," Nixon wrote in his veto message. "Putting them behind a fence does not change that fact." Read more here.


Uninspected tanks of toxin in Indiana

There are 9,581 aboveground storage tanks in Indiana.  8,685 of them are not subject to regular governmental inspection. Are you worried that what happened in West Virginia can also happen in Indiana? So is Jeanette Neagu. So are we. Nuvo weekly newspaper talks with Neagu and examines the problem. Read the article here.


"DamNation" film set for several screenings in September

The powerful film, DamNation, explores the sea change in our national attitude from pride in big dams as engineering wonders to the growing awareness that our own future is bound to the life and health of our rivers. DamNation’s majestic cinematography will be on display at viewings in Indianapolis (September 4th) and in Anderson (September 11th). As Hoosiers consider damming the White River in Madison and Delaware Counties, this film is important for us all to see.


Columnist Doug Ross: Sierra Club isn't just blowing smoke

Doug Ross, a columnist for the NW Indiana Times writes about our energy work in Indiana in a July 6th column. "In Indiana, at least, it ain't easy being green. The Sierra Club knows this well. It's trying to reduce Indiana's heavy reliance on coal for electricity, and it's meeting resistance from state lawmakers and the governor who say Indiana has enough coal reserve to last for centuries, even at the current consumption patterns." Read the column here.


Chapter's art show postponed

Originally scheduled for this September & October of this year, the Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter's art show is being potponed, probably until next year. The show was to focus on "seeing Indiana’s environmental issues through art." If you wish to be on the mailing list for future art show information, send an email to us at hoosier.chapter@sierraclub.org.


Grant Smith: "My take on Indiana energy policy"

As energy policy changes are debated in Indiana, Grant Smith offers his observations after returning from a fact-finding trip to Germany. Smith is Senior Energy Analyst for the Civil Society Institute and an executive committee member of the Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter. "The public must be a part of the energy policy discussion, particularly now with Indiana’s utility companies ratcheting up rates beyond reason and with no institutional pushback from the state’s elected leadership," says Smith. Read his blog entry on the Citizens Action Coalition website.


Federal agencies raise reservoir concerns

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have indicated a number of issues that need to be addressed before the proposed $400 million reservoir ending from Anderson into Delaware County can move forward. “The project will devastate 7 miles of riverine aquatic habitat, converting it into a lake habitat which is unsuitable for many river fish and mussel species,” said an official with the Fish and Wildlife Service. Read more here.


Indiana tops nation in toxic releases to waterways

"We're number 1" is not something we can take pride in, at least not when it comes to toxic releases. A report by Environment America ranks Indiana number one in the nation for toxic releases into waterways. For years, Indiana state agency leaders have assumed that lax regulation attracts new businesses to Indiana. But what kind of business leaders want to move their families into a toxic environment?


Faith groups hear higher calling in climate change fight

A federal program to reduce carbon emissions has found fierce opposition among business and political leaders but is garnering support from a a source that some might find surpeising – faith leaders. A coalition of believers wants the state to embrace new rules that require deep cuts in carbon emissions and reverse Indiana’s dependence on coal-fueled electricity. Read more here.


Indiana CAFOwatch conference set for July 26th

Our partners at Indiana CAFOwatch are planning their 2014 annual conference on July 26th. You can learn the latest information on CAFO and environmental issues, network with others, share information on ordinances, and both successes and failures. Learn more about the conference at indianacafowatch.com


New report highlights threats of Harding Street toxic coal ash ponds in Indianapolis

Indianapolis Power & Light’s Harding Street coal-fired power plant was cited as one of the most dangerous coal ash sites in the country,  according to a report released today by the Sierra Club and Earthjustice. The report highlights the threat to drinking water wells near the plant and the White River, as well as the regulatory failures to protect Hoosiers from toxic coal ash threats. Read more here.


Coal ash ponds threaten Indiana

Indiana has 74 ponds that contain coal ash, a byproduct of coal fired power plants, which is more than any other state. These ponds of toxic stew can dwarf the size of other man-made reservoirs, but unlike typical landfills, they’re almost entirely unregulated. These ponds have caused devastation, most recently in North Carolina. They are a pending disaster in Indiana. Read more in this news article from Indiana Public Media.


Conservatives breaking ranks from Koch Brothers on solar energy

Many utility companies are waging war on the solar energy industry. But the clean energy movement has found an ally in their fight. Here are several articles about how traditional utilities and fossil fuel interests are trying to hang on to the status quo, in spite of its impact on the type of planet our grandchildren will inherit. 


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.


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.