Environmental issues

Judge: Landowners can't keep public off Lake Michigan beach

July 30, 2015
 Associated Press
A man who owns a piece of Indiana’s short stretch of Lake Michigan shoreline and said he had “complete and exclusive ownership” of its beachfront holds no such right and cannot deny the public access to that space, a judge has ruled.

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COA affirms judgment against Hammond in towns’ sewer suit

July 13, 2015
Dave Stafford
Hammond’s sanitary district had no statutory authority to cancel wastewater treatment contracts with the neighboring Lake County towns of Griffith, Highland and Whiting, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday, affirming the trial court in a split opinion.
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Indiana among 9 states contesting EPA water rule

July 6, 2015
IL Staff
Indiana will join eight other states that have challenged an Environmental Protection Agency rule redefining streams, creeks, ponds and wetlands as waters of the United States.
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EPA loses on power-plant emissions rule

June 29, 2015
 Bloomberg News, IL Staff
The Obama administration didn’t adequately consider the billions of dollars in costs before issuing a rule designed to cut hazardous emissions from 460 coal-fired power plants, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled.
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Judge strikes another blow against proposed Illiana Tollway

June 17, 2015
 Associated Press
A U.S. District Court judge in Chicago ruled Tuesday that the federal government's approval of the proposed Illiana Tollway linking northern Illinois and Indiana is invalid.
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Appeals court tosses suits challenging climate change plan

June 9, 2015
 Associated Press
A federal appeals court on Tuesday threw out a pair of high-profile lawsuits challenging the Obama administration's sweeping plan to address climate change, saying it's too early to challenge a proposed rule that isn't yet final.
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Humane Society ‘disappointed’ justices won’t hear canned-hunt suit

June 8, 2015
Dave Stafford
A deadlocked Indiana Supreme Court declined to hear the state’s appeal of a ruling allowing captive-hunting preserves to operate in the state without regulation. The Humane Society condemned the decision on the controversial hunting practice.
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Appeals court sides with EPA on air pollution limits

June 3, 2015
 Associated Press
A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Environmental Protection Agency complied with the law in deciding which areas of the country failed to meet federal limits on smog-forming pollution that can cause asthma and respiratory illness.
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Environmental groups sue over Illiana Tollway approval

May 27, 2015
 Associated Press
Illinois environmental groups have filed a lawsuit over the proposed Illiana Tollway. They claim federal approval relied on faulty information and didn't adequately consider environmental impacts.
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Court skeptical of challenge to Obama's climate change plan

April 16, 2015
 Associated Press
Two out of three judges on a federal appeals court panel are expressing doubts about a legal challenge to the Obama administration's far-reaching plan to address climate change.
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Voters to consider hunting amendment to Indiana Constitution

April 15, 2015
 Associated Press
A measure will be on the Indiana ballot in 2016 asking voters if they want to approve a constitutional amendment preserving the right to hunt and fish in the state.
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Known loss doctrine bars claim against insurers

April 8, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The insurers of a company that purchased property it knew was contaminated are not required to defend or indemnify the company regarding the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s remediation action, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Wednesday.
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Humane Society blasts 'shameful' canned hunting bill

April 3, 2015
IL Staff
The Humane Society of the United States is opposing a bill in the Legislature that would allow canned hunting of deer, elk and other mammals inside fenced enclosures, saying it would sanction and expand a “shameful industry.”
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Decades-long fight over landfill quietly concludes

March 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
A 37-year fight over a planned solid waste landfill in Anderson ended recently, concluding one of the longest environmental battles in state history. Only a few loads of trash were ever dumped at the Mallard Lake Landfill, but fortunes were spent litigating it.
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Indiana regulators revoke coal-gasification plant's permit

March 10, 2015
 Associated Press
State regulators have revoked an air permit for a proposed $2.8 billion coal-gasification plant in southwestern Indiana at the request of the plant's developer.
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Lawsuit over Covanta recycling center plan set for hearing

March 6, 2015
Kathleen McLaughlin, IBJ Staff
A lawsuit prompted by Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard’s controversial recycling-plant deal is set for hearing March 10.
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State appeals ruling blocking fenced hunting preserve rules

March 6, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana attorney general's office is appealing a court ruling that state wildlife officials overstepped their authority in trying to shut down Indiana’s high-fenced deer-hunting preserves.
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7th Circuit affirms Michigan law applies to Visteon pollution claims

January 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
A federal court in Indianapolis properly dismissed a lawsuit Visteon Corp. filed against its insurer seeking to recover damages resulting from toxic pollution at its former Connersville plant that also contaminated neighboring properties.
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Prosecutor in dust-up over asbestos threat in office

January 13, 2015
 Associated Press
Like the sands of time, dust regularly falls on offices of the Lake County prosecutor, who hopes it isn't laced with asbestos.
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Tennessee company sues Tippecanoe County over proposed quarry

January 9, 2015
 Associated Press
A Tennessee company has sued officials in Tippecanoe County, saying they didn't have the authority to pass an ordinance meant to block a proposed limestone quarry project along the Wabash River.
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Owner can seek separate claim for property damage coverage

December 29, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Despite having agreed to pay $1.7 million, an insurance company may have to provide more money to satisfy a claim from the owner of a contaminated property.
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Divided appeals panel reverses judgment against Thomson

December 16, 2014
Dave Stafford
A trial court improperly ruled in favor of an insurer on Thomson Inc.’s claims for the cleanup of toxic chemicals at two consumer electronics manufacturing sites.
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Appeal aims to block planned 4,000-hog facility

November 11, 2014
 Associated Press
A group of homeowners wants a county judge to block a southern Indiana farmer from being allowed to build a facility that would house 4,000 hogs.
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Smith: What to do when the EPA sends an Information Request

October 8, 2014
Even the best companies occasionally attract the attention of regulators. Recently, the United States Environmental Protection Agency announced that it will be focusing on addressing noncompliance issues and vigorous enforcement. EPA commonly investigates compliance and potential enforcement with an “Information Request.”
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Court erred in ordering insurer to pay costs of cleanup

September 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court misinterpreted a previous ruling involving an insurance coverage dispute for environmental cleanup costs, and as such, erred when it ordered the insurer to pay costs that were incurred as a result of a settlement, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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