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New leader of state environmental organization prepares to tackle issues

The new executive director for the Hoosier Environmental Council says he hopes to tackle some big issues in his new role.

Sam Carpenter said Indiana has several areas of concern when it comes to the environment.

“We have more unprotected unregulated coal ash pits in the state of Indiana than I think any other state in the nation,” Carpenter said. “And there's issues around our wetlands where, unfortunately, legislation went through the last session, where they ease the regulations around building in wetlands.”

Carpenter said his work will focus on making connections to address those issues and more.

“One of the things that I'm interested in doing is connecting with those people who care about this. Those people who want to see their wetlands protected, who want to see climate change addressed, and help them plug in to how they can get involved and make an impact. And really, a lot of that is our representatives need to hear from us,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter succeeds Jesse Kharbanda, who led the organization for more than 14 years.

Carpenter is the former executive director of Indiana-based nonprofit fair trade retail outlet Global Gifts. Most recently, he consulted with small businesses and nonprofits on strategic planning, turnarounds and growth strategies.

He will begin full-time with the Hoosier Environmental Council on Dec. 1.

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