"No one would help us but HEC. Without their compassion and help, we would still be getting smoked to death...We will always be so very grateful. It took time and a lot of hard work and they never forgot us. HEC will always have a place in our hearts."
This month, HEC achieved a long fought legal victory for Gary and Mable Bowling, grandparents based in rural Indiana who, since 2010, have suffered unimaginable pain from the constant invasion of noxious smoke from their neighbor's unregulated outdoor wood boiler (OWB).
During their nearly six year ordeal, the smoke could be so severe that Gary and Mable would often feel like
in their own home, having to barricade their doors and windows and running their A/C at all hours of the day to try and keep the obnoxious fumes out. Despite their efforts to block the smoke, they developed chronic coughing, reduced breathing and, for Mable, a worsening of her asthma -- which sent her to the emergency room on countless occasions.
After HEC's Senior Staff Attorney Kim Ferraro brought a lawsuit and successfully obtained a judge's order last year that prohibited the neighbor's use of the polluting OWB in anticipation of a trial, HEC sought to make the prohibition permanent. Not only did HEC win on that front, but we will obtain damages for the Bowlings as well!
The victory ensures that the Bowlings will -- after six years of unbelievable suffering -- never again have to flee their home at all hours of the day and night just to breathe clean air, and is a reminder, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, that "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."
Your financial support makes it possible for HEC to stand up for families like the Bowlings across Indiana who are threatened by dangerous toxins.
Wishing you a Happy New Year -- confident in the knowledge that HEC will be your strong, energetic, and persistent voice for the environment in the Statehouse and beyond!
The entire team at the Hoosier Environmental Council