The Hoosier Environmental Council
The voice of the people for 30 years. The eyes and ears of everyone in Indiana who is concerned about the environment. And everyone who should be. The Hoosier Environmental Council is Indiana’s leading educator and advocate for environmental issues and policies. We are passionate about our role in shaping the state’s environmental future and all who will be affected by it.
We have made significant progress in protecting forests, groundwater, and lakes throughout the state. Yet, as unbelievable as it sounds, Forbes magazine ranks Indiana the 49th greenest state. So there is a lot of work to do. A lot of teaching. A lot of talking. And a lot of listening.
We could spend our energy pointing fingers, and those who are responsible should certainly be held accountable. But that energy would be best utilized in finding new solutions and alternatives to the practices and misguided efforts that got us where we are today. Hoosiers are smart, hard-working, resourceful people. Exactly the kind of people we’re proud to represent and to help us get the job done.
Here are some of The Hoosier Environmental Council’s recent successes:
May 2011 - HEC and our partners won a major victory to make renewable energy more affordable and accessible through the adoption of new ‘net metering rules’ that are literally one hundred times better than existing rules.
April 2011 – HEC helped safeguard our rivers and streams from animal manure contamination. Previously, large manure lagoons — not linked to the property of factory farms — were unregulated. In partnership with other groups, we succeeded in helping to largely close this loophole.
April 2011 – HEC fought hard – and won – in a battle to protect public transit funding for the next two years. Some legislators wanted to cut its budget by nearly 20%, and we turned the tide in coordination with a number of allies.
March 2011 – In partnership with other organizations and tireless advocacy by individual advocates, we succeeded in getting the first-ever safeguards against often dirty outdoor wood boilers, which can spew dangerous levels of particulate matter in rural residential areas.
March 2011 – HEC moved the ball forward in the realm of green energy — getting bi-partisan support and legislative hearings in both the Indiana House and Senate on a bill that would make energy efficiency improvements more affordable for homeowners and small businesses. We also saw Indiana pass, after a five year effort, a ‘clean energy portfolio program’. While it is a far cry from the type of legislation that HEC has long championed, it will lay the foundation for accelerating investment in alternatives to coal.
February 2011 – HEC filed a new lawsuit to slow down new terrain I-69, because we desperately need to focus on fixing our crumbling roads and bridges first, rather than diverting precious taxpayer dollars towards costly new highways.
December 2010 – HEC co-hosted the first-ever High Speed Rail Forum in Central Indiana, which was keynoted by the nation’s highest-ranking railroad official and featured a strong bi-partisan showing of support from advocates.
November 2010 – HEC was at the forefront of efforts to reduce the scar that unlined coal ash dumpsites have left in many beautiful parts of our state by building support for greatly delayed federal safeguards.
March 2010 - HEC led a coalition of businesses and clean energy advocates to advance a bill to significantly expand renewable energy investment in Indiana. This bill passed decisively out of both the Indiana House and Indiana Senate.
January 2010 – HEC and its partners were instrumental in securing $1.15 million in federal funding for land acquisition at the Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge, preserving land for the rare river bottomland forest.
December 2009 – HEC secured a settlement for air quality violations by Duke, compelling Duke to retire two of its coal units, or convert them to natural gas. As a result, over 66,000 tons of sulfur dioxide, a dangerous pollutant, will be eliminated from Indiana’s skies each year.
December 2009 – HEC and partners called on the EPA to investigate serious and persistent concerns with Indiana’s water pollution program, which currently allows coal mines to dump pollutants into waterways without proper controls, and doesn’t allow for sufficient review of new pollution sources.
October 2009 – HEC petitioned the EPA to block an operating permit issued to BP Whiting for the expansion of its refinery in Whiting, Ind. We cited a failure to accurately account for the pollution increase that would be caused by the expansion. In October of last year, the EPA granted HEC’s petition, ordering IDEM to revise the permit.