IDEM Seeks Nominations for 2017 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence

The following is a release from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM): 

IDEM is seeking nominations for the 2017 Indiana Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence. This award is the state’s most prestigious environmental recognition.

The Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence is open to any Indiana citizen, business, nonprofit organization, school, or government agency. All projects submitted must demonstrate significant, measurable results that positively impact Indiana’s environment. Nominated projects must be sustainable, innovative, exemplary, and thoroughly documented. Nominations must be received by IDEM no later than 5 p.m. (EDT) Friday, July 28, 2017.

To learn more about the Indiana Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence, including past awardees and the nomination process, please visit http://www.IN.gov/idem/GovAwards or contact Justin Paicely, IDEM’s Program and Compliance Director, at 800-451-6027 or GovAwards@idem.IN.gov.

Accelerate Team Performance with These Opportunities in May

Don’t coast along when it comes to employee skills and legal developments that impact your business. Engage people – and protect your bottom line – through a variety of upcoming training events.

The annual Indiana Worker’s Compensation Conference will take place May 11 at Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Downtown Union Station. It will feature sessions on psychological injuries in the workplace; the impact of worker’s compensation on your organization; Indiana’s Worker’s Compensation Act (and how it works together with the FMLA and ADA); and more!

Sponsors are Athletico Physical Therapy, Center for Diagnostic Imaging, Ice Miller LLP and Pro Resources Staffing Services. Contact Jim Wagner at (317) 264-6876 regarding additional sponsorship and exhibit opportunities.

Shift gears by attending the annual Indiana Environmental Permitting and Reporting Conference on May 18-19 at the Indiana Chamber Conference Center. Sponsored by KERAMIDA, Inc., it’s the most complete and comprehensive permitting and reporting course offered in the state.

Highlights include:

  • 2016 Annual Reporting Requirements and Update
  • Are You Prepared for Your Next Air Compliance Inspection?
  • Spill Reporting and Spill Prevention Considerations
  • Most Common Notices of Violation – How to Demonstrate Permit Compliance
  • Beneficial Reuse of Foundry Sand/CCR – Permits and Regulations

Two additional events, both at the Indiana Chamber Conference Center, round out May offerings: Forklift Safety: Train the Trainer (May 24) and OSHA Recordkeeping and Reporting Course (May 25).

Register for any of these events online or by calling Nick at (800) 824-6885.

Temporary Halt to EPA Clean Power Rule

10044552Last summer, President Obama attempted to circumvent Congress by implementing increased regulation of carbon emissions from power plants through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This was after his climate change legislation failed twice in Congress. However, it is the responsibility of Congress – not the administration – to set policy. The successful Supreme Court appeal centered on that point.

These proceedings are especially important for Indiana, which is the number one per capita manufacturing state in the nation. Over 80% of Indiana’s electric power comes from coal, compared to only 45% for the country. Despite diversification efforts, coal remains Indiana’s primary energy source.

Skipp Kropp, attorney at Steptoe & Johnson PLLC and a member of the Indiana Chamber’s Energy Committee, summarizes the legal battle and what it means. Further analysis available from the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

A (Honda) ‘Civics’ Lesson: Going Natural is In

Our friends at Inside INdiana Business ran this release from Honda, illustrating how the car company is making efforts to move toward the future — and how its Indiana production facility is playing a key role:

Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, LLC (HMIN) today marked the start of mass production of the all-new 2012 Civic Natural Gas as it moves to increase production of the alternative-fuel Civic to support an expanding network of certified Civic Natural Gas dealers across the U.S. Engines for the Civic Natural Gas will continue to be supplied by Honda’s engine plant in Anna, Ohio.

HMIN will ramp-up production of the Civic Natural Gas (formerly the Civic GX) during the 2012 model year to meet anticipated increasing demand for alternative-fuel vehicles. The added production will support Honda’s growing network of U.S. Honda dealers qualified to provide retail sales and service support for the Civic Natural Gas, expanding from 72 Honda dealers in four states to nearly 200 dealers in 36 states, including one new Honda dealer in Indiana.

The 2012 Civic Natural Gas is powered by the cleanest internal combustion engine ever certified by the U.S. EPA and is the only OEM-made natural gas vehicle available for retail purchase in America. It is part of Honda’s growing portfolio of advanced environmental technology vehicles which include three hybrid models, the world’s most advanced fuel cell electric vehicle, the FCX Clarity, and the Fit EV electric vehicle and a Honda plug-in hybrid car, both launching in 2012. The fully redesigned 2012 Civic Natural Gas model goes on-sale October 18, 2011, with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $26,155.

“We’re extremely proud Indiana is the home for this all-new Civic Natural Gas,” said Jun Nishimoto, HMIN President. “As the sole producers of the Civic Natural Gas, our associates in Greensburg are making an important contribution to Honda’s global effort to reduce CO2 emissions and advance the deployment of vehicles that can help the transition away from gasoline to cleaner and more sustainable alternative fuels.”
 

Lugar Skeptical of EPA Dust Regs for Farms

As the Environmental Protection Agency considers regulation to tighten restrictions on dust on rural farms, Sen. Richard Lugar, along with 30 other Senators, condemned the National Ambient Air Quality Standards proposal as not being realistic. He writes:

“Proposals to lower the standard may not be significantly burdensome in urban areas, but will likely have significant effects on businesses and families in rural areas, many of whom have a tough time meeting current standards,” Lugar wrote. 

“Naturally occurring dust is a fact of life in rural America and the creation of dust is unavoidable for the agriculture industry,” Lugar and the others continued. “Indeed, with the need to further increase food production to meet world food demands, regulations that will stifle the U.S. agriculture industry could result in the loss of productivity, an increase in food prices, and further stress on our nation’s rural economy.” 

Lugar’s letter continued: “Tilling soil, even through reduced tillage practices, often creates dust as farmers work to seed our nation’s roughly 400 million acres of cropland.  Likewise, harvesting crops with various pieces of farm equipment and preparing them for storage also creates dust. 

“Due to financial and other considerations, many roads in rural America are not paved and dust is created when they are traversed by cars, trucks, tractors, and other vehicles.  To potentially require local and county governments to pave or treat these roads to prevent dust creation could be tremendously burdensome for already cash-strapped budgets.”

“While we strongly support efforts to safeguard the wellbeing of Americans, most Americans would agree that common sense dictates that the federal government should not regulate dust creation in farm fields and on rural roads,” Lugar letter concluded. “Additionally, the scientific and technical evidence seems to agree.  Given the ubiquitous nature of dust in agricultural settings and many rural environments, and the near impossible task of mitigating dust in most settings, we are hopeful that the EPA will give special consideration to the realities of farm and rural environments, including retaining the current standard.”