Environmental Issues

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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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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