Environmental Issues

Judge denies injunction to block VA's Crown Hill project

January 16, 2017
IBJ Staff
A federal judge on Friday shot down a legal effort by environmentalists to block development of a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs cemetery on 15 wooded acres north of Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis.
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VW pleads guilty in emissions scandal; 6 employees indicted

January 11, 2017
 Associated Press
Volkswagen is pleading guilty to three criminal charges and will pay $4.3 billion to the U.S. government for cheating on emissions tests and destroying evidence in an elaborate cover-up.
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Environmental crime most common among organizational offenders

December 22, 2016
IL Staff
Organizations charged with federal criminal offenses most commonly were accused of environmental offenses, the United States Courts announced Thursday, citing a report published by the United States Sentencing Commission.
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Obama sets rule to protect streams near coal mines

December 19, 2016
 Associated Press
The Obama administration on Monday set final rules designed to reduce the environmental impact of coal mining on the nation's streams, a long-anticipated move that met quick resistance from Republicans who vowed to overturn it under President-elect Donald Trump.
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Agreement with Gary to resolve Clean Water Act violations

December 14, 2016
 Associated Press
Federal and Indiana authorities have reached an agreement with the city of Gary to resolve longstanding violations of the Clean Water Act, including the release of raw sewage.
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Washington state suing agrochemical giant over PCB pollution

December 9, 2016
 Associated Press
Washington has become the first U.S. state to sue the agrochemical giant Monsanto over pervasive pollution from PCBs, the toxic industrial chemicals that have accumulated in plants, fish and people around the globe for decades. The company said the case "lacks merit."
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Forest Alliance sues to stop Crown Hill cemetery project

December 8, 2016
IBJ Staff
The controversy over the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ plans to develop a military cemetery with a series of above-ground columbariums on 15 wooded acres north of Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis has ended up in court.
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Dodge truck owners accuse Chrysler, Cummins of VW-like cheating

November 14, 2016
 Bloomberg News
Allegations of cheating pollution standards have reached U.S. automakers as Chrysler was sued by consumers who said engines in some Dodge trucks were rigged to hide that emissions were as much as 14 times higher than permitted by law.
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Once in office, Trump can quickly alter Supreme Court agenda

November 14, 2016
 Associated Press
Even before Donald Trump chooses a Supreme Court nominee, the new president can take steps to make several contentious court cases go away.
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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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Judge lets Flint residents' lawsuit against state move ahead

October 27, 2016
 Associated Press
A Michigan judge has ruled in favor of Flint residents who sued the state over the city's man-made lead-tainted water crisis, rejecting a motion to dismiss the lawsuit entirely.
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'Played the fool': Car owners slam Volkswagen emissions deal

October 18, 2016
 Associated Press
Several angry Volkswagen owners told a federal judge on Tuesday that a $10 billion settlement does not adequately compensate them for the automaker's emissions cheating scandal.
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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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Lead crisis in housing project was actually no surprise

September 23, 2016
 Associated Press
A review of public documents and news coverage dating back to the 1960s shows officials at half a dozen local, state and federal agencies were aware East Chicago residents were living on and playing in lead-tainted soil, though some of the most alarming readings weren't widely known until recently.
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Residents of contaminated Indiana complex sue city officials

September 16, 2016
 Associated Press
Residents forced to move out of a northwest Indiana public housing complex because of high levels of lead in the soil are suing city officials and the companies they say are responsible.
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Insurance fight prolongs Hartford City junk yard's pollution

September 13, 2016
 Associated Press
Five years of court battles haven't resolved the blame game between a western Indiana junk yard and one of the nation's largest insurance companies over water pollution.
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Veteran VW engineer is first charged in US emissions probe

September 9, 2016
 Bloomberg News
A veteran Volkswagen AG engineer pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud U.S. regulators and customers, the first criminal charge in the Justice Department’s yearlong investigation into the company’s rigging of federal air-pollution tests.
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EPA adds Indianapolis groundwater plume to priority list

September 8, 2016
 Associated Press, IBJ Staff
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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EPA objects to Vertellus Specialties acquisition plan

September 6, 2016
Susan Orr, IBJ Staff
Indianapolis-based chemical company Vertellus Specialties Inc. is at odds with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over whether its proposed sale would provide adequate resources to address environmental cleanup needs at Vertellus-owned sites in Indiana and elsewhere.
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Lawyer investigating lead at Indiana housing complex

August 31, 2016
 Associated Press
An attorney for families in an Indiana public housing complex slated to be demolished because of lead contamination says he's investigating whether public officials knew about the problem and allowed children to be "poisoned."
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COA affirms plaintiff can’t succeed on environmental action claims

August 4, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Thursday that based on the statute of limitations the owners of contaminated land can’t assert environmental claims against previous owners of the land who contributed to the contamination.
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VW settlement could return $66M to eligible Hoosiers

June 28, 2016
IL Staff
More than 6,600 Hoosiers who bought certain Volkswagens or Audis designed to defraud diesel emissions tests may receive cash compensation, have their cars bought back or their engines modified. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced Tuesday that restitution for eligible Indiana consumers could reach $66 million.
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Federal judge strikes down Obama’s effort to regulate fracking

June 22, 2016
 Bloomberg News
A federal judge struck down the Obama administration’s signature effort to regulate hydraulic fracturing on public lands, putting another of the president’s environmental initiatives in legal limbo months before he leaves office.
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Indiana ministry sues zoning board over dairy farm approval

May 27, 2016
 Associated Press, IL Staff
An eastern Indiana ministry that operates a children's church camp is suing zoning officials over their approval of a large dairy farm that would be built within a half-mile of the camp.
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Michigan governor halts internal Flint probes after prosecutors object

May 26, 2016
 Associated Press
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder on Thursday called for an end to civil and administrative investigations into how two state agencies contributed to Flint's lead-tainted drinking water crisis, after being warned they are hampering state and federal criminal probes.
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  1. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  2. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  3. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  4. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  5. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

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