Energy & Environmental Law

Indiana governor: New law will aid lead-tainted region

May 19, 2017
 Associated Press
Gov. Eric Holcomb is praising a new state law that will help a northwestern Indiana city deal with lead and arsenic contamination that's forcing residents in a public housing complex from their homes.
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Duke Energy plans to close coal ash ponds in Indiana

May 17, 2017
 Associated Press
Duke Energy is planning to close coal ash ponds in Indiana because of new federal environmental regulations.
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Legislature approves bill curtailing solar panel incentives

April 11, 2017
 Associated Press
A bill pushed by Indiana's investor-owned utilities that would eliminate much of the financial incentive available to those who install solar panels is headed to Gov. Eric Holcomb's desk after it was approved on Monday by the Legislature.
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Trump signs order rolling back environmental efforts

March 28, 2017
 Associated Press
President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that will roll back many of former President Barack Obama's efforts to curb global warming. The order is aimed at helping spur American energy jobs.
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Solar bill would prompt ‘prolonged litigation,’ consumer group says

March 27, 2017
Dave Stafford
Legislation that would eventually phase out net metering for rooftop solar and small generators of solar power is likely to lead to protracted litigation, counsel for a consumer group warns lawmakers.
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COA denies rehearing in Lake Michigan public trust case

March 10, 2017
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals won’t rehear its Dec. 7 decision finding that the public trust doctrine controls the shore of Lake Michigan between the ordinary high- and low-water marks, allowing people to walk the shore.
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Nonprofit legal groups help East Chicago residents living in environmental nightmare

March 8, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
The legal aid groups are working on finding new housing for people as well as securing assistance.
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Solar bill draws heat

March 8, 2017
Dave Stafford
Homeowners, churches, schools among those who decry slashing incentives, though big arrays may thrive under the legislation.
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Waterhouse: Lessons from Flint: law, economics, equity and the environment

March 8, 2017
Behind the very technical laws we have in our state and across the country, there are broader goals and ends. When we lose sight of these, laws, like other tools, can become destructive forces that strip people of their dignity, well-being and their lives.
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Sugarman/Tuley: Hazardous waste rule changes may impact Indiana businesses

March 8, 2017
In November 2016, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management incorporated the EPA’s alterations to its Definition of Solid Waste (or DSW) Rule into the Indiana Administrative Code.
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Indiana Senate approves bill to curtail solar incentive

February 28, 2017
 Associated Press
Financial incentives for installing solar panels would be eliminated in the coming years under a bill passed Monday by the Indiana Senate.
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7th Circuit rules Duke Energy must pay for wind-generated power

December 6, 2016
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a district court decision Tuesday requiring Duke Energy to pay for power generated by a local wind farm only if it passes to a lower grid, deciding instead that the energy company is contractually obligated to pay for any generated power regardless of transmission issues.
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2 Indiana men sentenced to prison for biodiesels fraud

December 5, 2016
 Associated Press
Two Indiana men have been sentenced to prison for their roles in what federal authorities say was a multi-million dollar fraud scheme involving biofuels.
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After Obama, Trump may face children suing over global warming

November 11, 2016
 Bloomberg News
A lawsuit brought by children against the Obama administration may force President-elect Donald Trump to decide how far he’ll go to downplay the threat of global warming.
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DC appeals court hears arguments in Clean Power Plan case

September 27, 2016
 Associated Press
The federal appeals court in Washington began hearing arguments Tuesday in the legal fight over President Barack Obama's plan to curtail greenhouse gas emissions.
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EPA adds Indianapolis groundwater plume to priority list

September 8, 2016
 Associated Press, Indianapolis Business Journal
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday added an 18-acre contaminated groundwater site on the west side of Indianapolis to the National Priorities List of Superfund sites.
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Fight to protect Indiana bat from wind farm renders mixed ruling

September 7, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana bat has been part of a long-running battle against a proposed 100-turbine wind farm in Ohio. A lawsuit filed in 2013 by the Bloomington-based Conservation Law Center sought to block a permit issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that would have allowed the Buckeye Wind Project to kill the protected species.
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Sugarman: SCOTUS affirms wetland determinations subject to review

September 7, 2016
On May 31, the United States Supreme Court once again unanimously delivered a victory for landowners who wish to challenge wetlands determinations handed down by the federal government.
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Wagner: Who will pay to clean up Indiana's polluted deep aquifers?

September 7, 2016
Bill Wagner
With fewer taxpayer dollars to fund the Superfund program, the responsible parties left standing would have to bear the costs for others that have either gone out of business or filed for bankruptcy.
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Regulators OK final settlement over controversial Edwardsport plant

August 25, 2016
Indianapolis Business Journal, John Russell
A bitter, costly fight over who will pay for Duke Energy’s $3.5 billion coal-gasification plant, one of the most expensive projects in Indiana history, is finally over.
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Law requires tougher standards for Great Lakes pipelines

June 15, 2016
 Associated Press
Congress has ordered stronger safety measures for pipelines carrying oil and other fuels in the Great Lakes region.
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High court rejects request to block mercury rule

June 13, 2016
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States has rejected an appeal from 20 states including Indiana seeking to block a federal rule targeting mercury pollution from taking effect while the government revises the rule to account for compliance costs.
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Judge: Substantial progress in Volkswagen emissions talks

May 24, 2016
 Associated Press
Volkswagen and attorneys for vehicle owners affected by the company's emissions cheating scandal are on target to meet a June deadline for a final settlement proposal, a federal judge said Tuesday.
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Coal mine environmental risk grows with bankruptcies

May 19, 2016
 Associated Press
As more coal companies file for bankruptcy, it's increasingly likely taxpayers will be stuck with the very high costs of preventing abandoned mines from becoming environmental disasters.
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High court strikes down Maryland power plant subsidies

April 19, 2016
 Associated Press
A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Maryland officials overstepped their authority when they offered financial subsidies to encourage construction of a new power plant in the state.
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  1. He TIL team,please zap this comment too since it was merely marking a scammer and not reflecting on the story. Thanks, happy Monday, keep up the fine work.

  2. You just need my social security number sent to your Gmail account to process then loan, right? Beware scammers indeed.

  3. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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