HEC’s Priorities and Background:

The Central Indiana Regional Development Authority (CIRDA) received $1 million from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to form a plan to address greenhouse emissions (GHG) and other air pollution. After the priority action plan is submitted this Spring, CIRDA will compete for $4.6 billion nationally for plan implementation this coming April. We want to ensure the Central Indiana Environmental Action Plan:

  • Achieves long-term greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reductions through our energy sector. Renewable energy, electrification, and energy efficiency projects make the largest impact on the region’s current GHG emissions which is vital for Indiana to address climate change.
  • Incorporates EJ policies ensuring meaningful engagement, equitable decision making, and resource allocation occurs with communities disproportionately impacted by GHG emissions and legacy co-pollutants. Provide transparency and build trust in Climate Pollution Reduction Grant based investments by working collaboratively with local community stakeholders on project definition, procurement, and priorities. Projects and programs increasing climate resiliency to prevent, cope, recover, and adapt to climate change will benefit the region and Justice40 communities.  
  • Invests in local clean energy jobs through workforce development projects that prepare the region to take full advantage of new clean energy jobs.
  • Invests in natural forms of carbon capture that will both reduce GHG emissions and provide valuable natural infrastructure services. Urban canopies, green spaces, and protecting and restoring our wetlands and woodlands, capture carbon and increase our ability to adapt to climate change effects including heat and flooding. 
  • Invests in alternative transportation. Accessible, reliable, and safe alternative transportation including local and regional public transit, walking infrastructure, and biking infrastructure, would reduce transportation emissions and provide numerous community benefits such as cleaner air and increased job accessibility to the region’s residents.  
  • Invests in local communities. CIRDA can rely on local communities ready to implement their existing community climate action plans and complete municipal emission reduction projects such as fleet electrification and municipal solar.

HEC is an active stakeholder and has submitted public comments to CIRDA regarding their Central Indiana Environmental Action Plan. View our full public comments and recommendations here (12/15/23).

Virtual Public Engagement Sessions
  • Monday, 1/8/24 at 1pm via Zoom. Meeting Passcode: GHG
  • Tuesday, 1/9/24 at 6pm via Zoom. Meeting Passcode: GHG

You can view CIRDA’s project timeline and learn more about their public engagement process on their website.


Take the Survey by 1/14/24

We need CIRDA to hear from YOU. Complete the Central Indiana regional survey by 1/14/24 to submit your priorities and the community benefits you value most.

CIRDA’s updated draft priority list (1/4/24):

  • Restoring degraded lands and reforestation to store carbon
  • Repurposing industrial sites for renewable energy
  • Increasing transportation infrastructure for walkers and bikers
  • Increasing the number of parks and greenways
  • Increasing energy efficiency of government buildings and properties
  • Increasing the use of renewable energy to power government buildings and properties
  • Electric vehicle charging infrastructure of government-owned buildings and vehicles
  • Electrifying government buildings and properties
  • Increasing energy efficiency of industrial businesses

Every priority action in the Central Indiana Action Plan should produce multiple community benefits that improve quality of life and climate resiliency for many years to come. We have included our review of the public survey below including some example answers.

Of the benefits listed in Question 1, we support and prioritize:  

  • Improving air quality: indoor and outdoor
  • Improving public health: improving air quality, improving water quality, and reducing heat 
  • Increasing and improving green space
  • Improving walking and biking opportunities
  • Reducing the urban heat island effect
  • Improving soil health
  • Improving water quality
  • Improving economic development and job opportunity

Question 2. Example reasons for selection:

  • Renewable energy, electrification, and energy efficiency projects make the largest impact on the region’s current GHG emissions which is vital for Indiana to address climate change.
  • Urban canopies, green spaces, and protecting and restoring our wetlands and woodlands, capture carbon, improve air quality, and increase our ability to adapt to climate change effects including extreme heat and flooding.
  • Accessible, reliable, and safe alternative transportation including local and regional public transit, walking infrastructure, and biking infrastructure, would reduce transportation emissions and provide numerous community benefits such as cleaner air and increased job accessibility to the region’s residents.  

Question 3. Benefits missing from the survey list: 

  • Improving public transit
  • Reducing emissions to prevent future climate change
  • Reducing residential energy bills

Other comments:  

  • Host more public input meetings and increase meaningful engagement opportunities.
  • Prioritize actions that reduce total emissions and pollution from start to end including creation, use, and disposal.
Survey Link