pollution

(Justin Hicks/IPB News)

It’s been one year since a northwest Indiana steel facility’s spill into a Lake Michigan waterway — which killed about 3,000 fish and forced beaches to close temporarily. The Environmental Law & Policy Center said ArcelorMittal’s pollution violations haven’t stopped in 2020. 

(Mike Mozart/Flickr)

Is my drinking water safe? How can I find out what polluted sites are in my neighborhood? Several of our audience members wanted to know the answer to these questions and more.

(Mike Mozart/Flickr)

Is my drinking water safe? How can I find out what polluted sites are in my neighborhood? Several of our audience members wanted to know the answer to these questions and more.

EPA Doesn't Plan To Tighten Standards For Smog

Jul 14, 2020
(Marco Verch/Flickr)

The Environmental Protection Agency plans to pass on another opportunity to tighten air pollution standards. In April, the agency proposed not changing the standards for particle pollution. It announced on Monday it also doesn’t plan to tighten the standards for ozone — commonly known as smog.

(FILE PHOTO: Tyler Lake/WTIU)

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. 

(FILE PHOTO: Tyler Lake/WTIU)

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management is facing a class action lawsuit over who can get reimbursed for cleaning up leaking underground gas tanks through a state fund.

(Justin Hicks/IPB News)

Fewer cars on the road due to the COVID-19 pandemic has led to better air quality in many parts of the world. But state officials say it’s harder to tell what impact "Stay-At-Home" orders have had on air quality in Indiana overall.

While some air pollutants have gone down, others have gone up. Scott Deloney heads up the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s Air Programs Branch.

Aristocrats-Hat/Flickr

Industrial companies and others likely won’t be penalized for failing to comply with certain pollution control laws due to the coronavirus outbreak. That’s according to an Environmental Protection Agency announcement last week. 

Companies that fail to do routine things like monitor their pollution could be given a pass — as long as they keep a record of what happened and why they couldn’t comply with the law because of the outbreak.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

A state House bill would require utilities to get the state’s permission before shutting down a coal plant — at least until Indiana can develop a statewide energy plan. 

Tyler Lake/WTIU

When the city of East Chicago decided to tear down the West Calumet Public Housing Complex at the beginning of the lead crisis, the city told its residents that hopefully they would be able to put housing there again someday. If the mayor’s new plans go through — that likely won’t happen. 

Tyler Lake/WTIU

Since ArcelorMittal’s Burns Harbor facility spilled cyanide and ammonia into a Lake Michigan waterway in August, the state has required the plant to send daily test results to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. Now the agency says the company has been distorting those results. 

Tyler Lake/WTIU

A parks advocacy group says U.S. Steel’s revised consent decree doesn’t ensure protections for Indiana Dunes National Park. The agreement outlines how the company will make up for spilling 300 pounds of the cancer-causing chemical hexavalent chromium into a Lake Michigan waterway two years ago.

FILE PHOTO: Barbara Brosher

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indianapolis utility that operates a large southwestern Indiana power plant environmentalists call a “super polluter” plans to retire two of the station’s four coal-fired units by 2023.

Indianapolis Power & Light Co. officials outlined their plans for the Petersburg Generating Station as part of a 20-year power generation strategy plan all electric utilities are required to file every three years.

Galina Ovtcharova & Alexei Ovtcharov/Fotki

U.S. Steel’s northwest Indiana facility had its fourth spill this year into a Lake Michigan waterway. The company reported the release to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management on Wednesday night, the same day the government and U.S. Steel posted their revised consent decree

Tyler Lake/WTIU

Government agencies and U.S. Steel have reached a new proposed agreement for how the company will make up for its hexavalent chromium spill. U.S. Steel’s northwest Indiana facility leaked 300 pounds of the cancer-causing chemical into a Lake Michigan waterway two years ago. 

Tyler Lake/WTIU

U.S. Steel has reopened most of the Midwest Plant as of Tuesday, Nov. 5. Spokesperson Amanda Malkowski says the facility’s tin line is still closed, but the closure isn’t related to the spill. ​ 

Last week, U.S. Steel’s northwest Indiana facility had its third spill in as many months into Lake Michigan waterways. In a news release, U.S. Steel says its Midwest Plant in Portage was slightly over its limit for hexavalent chromium. 

U.S. Steel Has Third Spill In As Many Months

Nov 1, 2019
Tyler Lake/WTIU

On Wednesday evening, U.S. Steel’s northwest Indiana facility had its third spill in as many months into Lake Michigan waterways. In a news release, U.S. Steel says its Midwest plant in Portage was slightly over its limit for hexavalent chromium. 

Two years ago, it discharged 300 pounds of that same cancer-causing chemical into the Burns Waterway. It's also had two oil leaks this year — on in August and one in September.

Courtesy of IDEM

The state says ArcelorMittal failed to notify the public soon enough about problems that led to a cyanide and ammonia spill in a Lake Michigan tributary. That’s according to an investigative report by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. 

Tyler Lake/WTIU

The country’s newest national park isn’t like many of the others — it’s surrounded by some of the largest industrial companies in the U.S. While Indiana Dunes’ new designation has drawn national attention, so have recent industrial spills in nearby Lake Michigan waterways.

But will the park’s designation pressure industrial companies to clean up their act? 

Tyler Lake/WTIU

Two environmental groups say they’ll sue northwest Indiana steel company ArcelorMittal if the government doesn’t make it pay for environmental violations. 

In August, the company’s Burns Harbor facility discharged excess cyanide and ammonia into the Little Calumet River, killing about 3,000 fish and forcing beaches to close temporarily.

FILE PHOTO: Tyler Lake/IPB News

The Sierra Club says it’s suing BP for air quality violations at its Whiting Refinery that have harmed northwest Indiana residents’ health. The Hoosier chapter of the organization filed suit against the company in a federal district court on Friday. 

It says for at least four years, state and federal environmental agencies have allowed BP’s Whiting Refinery to emit too much particulate matter — which has been linked to health problems like asthma and heart attacks.

Galina Ovtcharova & Alexei Ovtcharov/Fotki

U.S. Steel had yet another oil leak on Friday. An official with the northwest Indiana company says it found a “light, intermittent oil sheen” near one of its pipes that discharges into Lake Michigan waterways. 

This comes just weeks after another leak from U.S. Steel and a chemical spill from ArcelorMittal that killed 3,000 fish. Residents and environmentalists are hoping this won’t become “the new normal.” 

Rebecca Thiele/IPB News

As coal plants shut down in Indiana, the state gets less money from the air permit fees that companies pay to put pollution in the air. That means fewer dollars are going to the people and equipment needed to run the state’s air permitting program. 

The state plans to increase those fees for the first time in more than a decade.

Matt Stuckey works for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s Office of Air Quality. He says for a while now, IDEM employees have been struggling to do more with less.

Record Heat Led To More High Ozone Days In Indiana

Apr 29, 2019

Even though Indiana’s air quality is improving, the American Lung Association says climate change is making it harder to protect people’s health. That’s the takeaway from the latest State of the Air report

Meg Vogel for NPR

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A billboard urging the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to end its tradition of releasing thousands of balloons before the Indianapolis 500 has been removed.

The sign unveiled this week in Indianapolis depicted someone holding a shredded balloon and read, "Balloons pollute and kill" followed by the hashtag #StopLitteringIMS.

The sign was removed Monday. 

Midwest environmental groups are threatening to sue the Environmental Protection Agency for delaying action on polluted rivers and streams in Indiana.

The Environmental Law & Policy Center, the Alliance for the Great Lakes, and the Hoosier Environmental Council sent a letter Wednesday giving the EPA 60 days notice of their lawsuit. 

Jennifer Weingart/WVPE

 
   

Micro-beads are found in a wide variety of beauty and personal products, and researchers say they're showing up in the water system.