EPA Eyes Cleanup Of Coal Ash Threatening Indiana Dunes

Jul 25, 2020



The northern Indiana utility NIPSCO will postpone removing toxic coal ash from ponds near its Michigan City coal plant until next spring. Environmental activists agree with the delay, saying due to the pandemic, it’s not the right time to remove the waste. 

Courtesy of NIPSCO

A northwest Indiana utility plans to remove toxic coal ash from five of its ponds at its Michigan City coal plant. NIPSCO plans to excavate the waste and put it in a lined landfill at its other coal plant, R.M. Schahfer Generating Station in Wheatfield. 

Tyler Lake/WTIU

The Indiana NAACP says keeping coal plants open longer would negatively affect the health of low-income and minority communities in the state. The group has asked lawmakers to vote down a House bill that could delay coal plant closures. 

The bill would require the state to review a plant closure, hold a public hearing, and issue a report on whether or not the closure is reasonable. Lawmakers also added a provision that would help former coal miners in Indiana find jobs.

Chris Light/Wikimedia Commons

MERRILLVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A major Indiana utility company has agreed to pay a $1 million fine in settling a federal complaint that it discriminated against some 1,500 female or black job applicants.

Northern Indiana Public Service Co. reached the deal with federal officials after a U.S. Department of Labor investigation found the utility discriminated against qualified women or black applicants for meter reading or service representative positions during 2013 and 2014. 

State Approves NIPSCO Rate Increase

Dec 5, 2019
Chris Light/Wikimedia Commons

The state has approved the northern Indiana utility NIPSCO’s controversial rate increase. The utility will raise rates for residents while allowing industrial companies to buy potentially cheaper energy elsewhere. 

By March of next year, the average NIPSCO resident’s bill will go up by about $6 a month.

Even though that’s $5 less than the company had originally proposed, La'Tonya Troutman with the LaPorte County branch of the NAACP says it could have a big impact on low-income and minority residents.

Will Vectren Be Mostly Wind And Solar In The Future?

Sep 3, 2019
Samantha Horton/IPB News

Since Vectren’s plan to build a large natural gas plant was rejected in April, the utility has been looking for other sources to replace its three retiring coal units. If the utility’s recent energy bids are any indication, we could see more renewables in the mix. 

Chris Light/Wikimedia Commons

The state's new energy policy task force had its first meeting on Monday. The group is charged with helping Indiana develop a statewide energy plan. Some of the topics discussed were how the transition away from coal would affect Hoosiers and how local ordinances are affecting the siting wind farms in Indiana.

Transitioning Away From Coal

Annacaroline Caruso

About 30 people gathered in Michigan City’s Pullman Park Thursday night to protest a proposal by the Northern Indiana Public Service Company. 

NIPSCO plans to cut electric bill rates for it’s five large industrial customers and raise costs for residential consumers.


Northern Indiana utility customers are holding a rally Thursday night to oppose NIPSCO’s plans to raise their rates while allowing industrial customers to access lower market prices. The utility says the increase will help it transition away from coal and toward renewable energy and natural gas. 

Jacarra Williams is the senior pastor at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Michigan City, which helps some residents pay their electric bills. He says he’s glad NIPSCO is going to more wind and solar, but some members of the community are struggling to make ends meet.

Legislation that could have put a moratorium on some new power plants in Indiana was overturned Thursday. The House passed an amendment to remove that language from a bill dealing with various utility matters.

Michigan City Schools Launch Solar Power Initiative

Mar 28, 2018
Michigan City Area Schools

Michigan City Area Schools today celebrated the addition of new solar arrays to its facilities in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Krueger Middle School.


The recently installed ground-mount solar arrays feed into the NIPSCO power grid and the school corporation expects the new solar panels, which have been placed  at 7 of its 16 facilities, including the main administration building, to offset utility costs by at least 52 percent per year.  


That’s an annual savings of about $704,000 dollars.

NIPSCO requests gas rate hike

Nov 28, 2017
stock photo


The Northern Indiana Public Service Company, or NIPSCO, is requesting a rate hike that would increase customers gas rates by about $10 a month.

The rate hike is $8.50 on the base rate and 6.6 cents per therm.

NIPSCO spokesperson Nick Meyer says the rate hike will allow them to pay for maintenance and several major system upgrades.