Environmental issues

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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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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EPA accuses Kokomo glass plant of violating Clean Air Act

May 5, 2016
 Associated Press
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is accusing an Indiana art glass manufacturer of violating federal clean-air standards and emitting elevated amounts of potentially toxic materials.
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Republican Senate effort again fails to block water rule

April 21, 2016
 Associated Press
Democrats have again blocked a Republican proposal that would have forced the Obama administration to withdraw a federal rule to protect small streams and wetlands from development and pollution.
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VW reaches outline agreement with US to overcome crisis

April 21, 2016
 Bloomberg News
Volkswagen AG agreed to fix or buy back about 500,000 tainted cars in the U.S., taking a significant step forward in its effort to emerge from the emissions-cheating scandal.
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3 charged with several crimes in Flint water crisis

April 20, 2016
 Associated Press
Two state regulators and a Flint employee were charged Wednesday with evidence tampering and other felonies and misdemeanors, for the first time raising the lead-tainted water crisis in the Michigan city to a criminal case.
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VW owners seek trial if there's no fix in emissions case

April 19, 2016
 Associated Press
Lawyers representing thousands of people who own diesel Volkswagens that cheat on emissions tests are asking a judge to order repairs and compensation if the company and government regulators don't agree to a fix by Thursday.
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VW buys time to reach agreement in U.S. on diesel cheat fix

March 25, 2016
 Bloomberg News
Volkswagen AG was given four more weeks to reach an agreement with regulators for getting 600,000 diesel vehicles off U.S. roads as it faces hundreds of lawsuits for rigging pollution control systems to cheat emissions tests.
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Pence vetoes compromise environmental bill

March 24, 2016
Dave Stafford
A bill that originally would have barred the Department of Environmental Management from passing “no more stringent” regulations than federal rules was vetoed Thursday by Gov. Mike Pence, despite a compromise on the bill agreed to by both industry and environmental groups.
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Abortion, med-mal, private university police bills await Pence’s decision

March 24, 2016
 Associated Press, IL Staff
High-profile bills involving restrictions on abortion, increasing the caps on medical malpractice damages and slightly lifting the secrecy of police units at Notre Dame and other private universities are among the unsigned bills remaining on the final day for Gov. Mike Pence to act.
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VW said to risk missing court deadline for diesel accord

March 23, 2016
 Bloomberg News
Volkswagen AG will probably miss a Thursday court deadline to reach a comprehensive agreement with U.S. authorities over its tainted diesel engines, possibly exposing the carmaker to daily fines and other sanctions.
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Texas lawyers sued for allegedly bankrolling BP spill scam

March 7, 2016
 Bloomberg News
Two high-profile Texas attorneys were sued by a fishing boat captain who said they were involved in a scam to cheat BP Plc out of millions of dollars with false compensation claims for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
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7th Circuit rejects group's I-69 challenges

March 4, 2016
Scott Olson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a federal judge’s ruling granting a motion to dismiss some charges and grant summary judgment on others to the United States Department of Transportation after a group opposing I-69 construction in southern Indiana, Citizens for Appropriate Rural Roads, filed a lawsuit.
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Appeals court reverses Indy recycling contract decision

February 24, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed summary judgment in favor of the city of Indianapolis and the Board of Public Works regarding a controversial contract with Covanta to create a trash and recycling center.
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Future uncertain for state environmental policy limit

February 16, 2016
 Associated Press
The future remains uncertain for a proposed limit on Indiana's authority to make its own environmental policies. The Senate Environmental Affairs Committee heard hours of testimony Monday on the bill, which has already passed the House.
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Indiana House backs bill to limit state environmental rules

February 2, 2016
 Associated Press
The Indiana House has approved a bill that would prevent state agencies from enacting environmental rules tougher than those imposed by the federal government.
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House panel endorses bill limiting environmental rulemaking

January 27, 2016
 Associated Press
An Indiana House committee has narrowly advanced a bill that would prohibit state agencies from enacting environmental rules and standards tougher than federal regulations.
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Indiana among states asking for stay of EPA power plant rule

January 27, 2016
IL Staff
A multistate coalition that includes Indiana has asked the Supreme Court of the United States to grant a temporary stay of a new EPA rule requiring existing power plants to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
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US sues VW over emissions-cheating software in diesel cars

January 4, 2016
 Associated Press
Federal authorities are suing Volkswagen over emissions-cheating software found in nearly 600,000 vehicles sold in the United States.
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Judge issues $50M judgment against Elkhart environmental nuisance

November 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
Residents who live near a waste dump and wood-waste processing facility in Elkhart won a default judgment of more than $50 million against the former owners. The sum appears largely a symbolic figure, however.
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EPA intends tougher downwind air-pollution rule in 23 states

November 18, 2015
 Associated Press
The Environmental Protection Agency proposed tougher new limits on Tuesday on smokestack emissions from nearly two dozen states — including Indiana — that burden downwind areas with air pollution from power plants they can't control.
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  1. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  2. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  3. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

  4. "...not those committed in the heat of an argument." If I ever see a man physically abusing a woman or a child and I'm close enough to intercede I will not ask him why he is abusing her/him. I will give him a split second to cease his attack and put his hands in the air while I call the police. If he continues, I will still call the police but to report, "Man down with a gunshot wound,"instead.

  5. And so the therapeutic state is weaonized. How soon until those with ideologies opposing the elite are disarmed in the name of mental health? If it can start anywhere it can start in the hoosiers' slavishly politically correct capital city.

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