• Bill would require de novo judicial review of environmental agency decisions

    A bill proposed in the 2022 Indiana legislative session would have required trial courts to try disputed issues of fact de novo in a judicial review of certain agency actions. Republican Rep. Chris Jeter, R-Fishers, said he authored House Bill 1063 in an attempt to even the playing field between decision-making agencies and Hoosiers, and in response to an Indiana Supreme Court decision.

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  • Greener pastures?

    Spencer County has been selected to build the first direct coal-hydrogenation refinery in the U.S., and a request has been submitted in Posey County to build a natural gas pipeline under the Ohio River into Evansville. Despite promises of cleaner energy and increased commerce, both projects are being met with opposition from environmental organizations and county residents.

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  • Toxic fallout: Remediation and lawsuits continuing at USS Lead Superfund site in East Chicago

    The pictures of sun-drenched homes and neatly trimmed lawns in East Chicago showcase what is perhaps the best outcome. However, the images belie the nightmare many residents are still living. The homes along with the neighboring West Calumet Housing Project and Carrie Gosch Elementary School were all built on the USS Lead Superfund site.

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  • Farm feud: CAFO challenge turns to U.S. Supreme Court

    Hendricks County families who live with the odor from a nearby 8,000-hog farm for years have lost their nuisance, negligence and trespass claims against the concentrated animal feeding operation. After unsuccessfully seeking relief from the Indiana Court of Appeals and a divided Indiana Supreme Court, they are now turning to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Articles

Decision by SCOTUS might slow transition to cleaner energy

The Supreme Court ruling limiting the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants could have far-reaching consequences for the energy sector—and make it harder for the Biden administration to meet its goal of having the U.S. power grid run on clean energy by 2035.

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Janzen: Real estate laws hurting climate change fight?

Midwestern farms are sitting on an untapped resource to meet climate change goals, namely, millions of acres of farmland that have always been farmed to maximize production. Soil and climate scientists are finding that with some production changes, such as planting cover crops during fallow periods to ensure soil is always pulling carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, farmers can increase soil uptake of carbon in farmland.

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Kelln and Harrell: Could Title VI force change in IN enviro policies?

Conceptually, environmental justice is the “fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin or income, with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies.” The concept of environmental justice is not new, but came to the forefront during the Obama administration in the aftermath of the Flint, Michigan, lead-contaminated drinking water crisis. However, environmental justice never became a coherent strategy and was overshadowed by significant rulemakings around climate change. That has changed in the first year of the Biden administration.

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