HEC’s Legal Defense Fund (LDF)
When necessary, and in accordance with our Technical Assistance Policy below, HEC will undertake strategic environmental legal action to address a pollution threat or protect natural areas, will support select environmental legal actions by other citizen-based organizations, and/or serve as a fiscal agent for eligible community groups and organizations to help them fund the cost of litigation. These services are provided through HEC’s Legal Defense Fund established in 1993 to:
Undertake litigation to achieve HEC’s policy objectives;
Build a network of attorneys to provide legal representation for environmental interests in Indiana, and a roster of technical experts to assist them;
Help citizens and communities affected by environmental problems find legal representation through this network.
For more information, contact staff attorney Kim Ferraro.
HEC Technical & Legal Assistance Policy
The Hoosier Environmental Council will make our best efforts to assist every affected individual and/or community group (“partner”) in at least a modest way by:
- Offering a specific referral (i.e. specialized attorney, engineer, scientist or reporter);
- Making a key policymaker aware of the issue (e.g. executive agency leader, state legislator, or locally elected officials);
- Raising awareness of the issue with appropriate segments of our supporter base;
- Providing technical reports or other useful materials.
To be involved substantively in a matter, HEC senior policy staff consider the following factors:
- HEC in-house capacity and resources (appropriate legal, technical knowledge);
- The continuing time commitment from the prospective partner;
- Whether the partner has some modest financial means for sustaining the project;
- Whether the matter is in alignment with, and advancing, HEC strategic goals
- If the matter is unaddressed by IDEM, DNR, INDOT, or local government body
- The impact to staff time/financial resources considerations;
- The nature and scope of the problem (i.e., geographic scope, imminency, number of people impacted, sensitive natural areas, etc…);
- The likelihood of successful resolution;
- The conduct of professionalism and civil discourse on the part of prospective partner – (e.g., does the partner engage in ad hominem attacks, profanity, or unwarranted accusations).