Saturday, March 17, 2018
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In this edition of our e-news...
Find out about 1.) our legislative victories, 2.) whether your groundwater is threatened by coal ash, 3.) four awesome March sustainability events, 4.) our 2018 Summer Internship Program, 5.) an array of amazing Earth Month & Aveda Earth Month events, and 6.) green-minded Hoosier businesses!
1.) Learn about Victories and Progress that, Together, We Made this Legislative Session

The 2018 Indiana General Assembly came to an end just a couple of days ago.

Thanks to the determination and collaboration among devoted environmental-minded Hoosiers (including members & supporters like you, diverse organizational partners, and HEC's Staff), we can report three big areas of success:

1.) We helped defeat the three most dangerous anti-environmental bills of the session -- two that would have seriously weakened local government control over the environment and one that would have paved the way for a dirty construction waste landfill near residents.

2.) We will see bills signed into law, which we lent our support to, that will put our water quality in a better place -- by establishing a water infrastructure task force, by facilitating the improvement of our water infrastructure, and by improving oversight of underground storage tanks.

3.) We have seen progress, though not outright victory, on several other fronts: B i-partisan sponsorship of a bill that would address the dangers of factory farm waste to our air & water; g rowing bipartisan support for a measure to protect our state forests from over-logging; overwhelming support for more mass transit options in the Indiana House; and decisive passage of a redistricting reform bill through the Indiana Senate.

Indiana can’t afford to miss opportunities to put our state’s air, forests, waters, economy, and democracy in a better place, so we'll be working to advance the causes noted in 3.) above in the weeks ahead. To learn more about our victories and progress, please check out our Bill Watch 2018 page .

Thank you so much for contacting your state representatives and state senators, and for staying resilient in these challenging times! If you want to get involved in writing letters to the editor, meeting your lawmakers after the legislative session, and more, please email us or send a message to our Facebook page ! And be sure to meet HEC Staff at events noted in 3.) and 5.) below...
2.) Find Out if Your Groundwater is Threatened by Coal Ash

Coal ash, a by-product of the burning of coal at power plants, contains heavy metals at concentrations substantially higher than those found in coal before burning. Unfortunately, coal ash was exempt from waste handling laws in the United States until 2015. As a result, millions of tons of coal ash have been put in unlined dumps with no protection for groundwater or surface water. As might be expected, when coal ash comes in contact with water, or when water that falls as precipitation percolates through coal ash waste to the ground below, groundwater can be contaminated.

The federal Coal Combustion Residuals Rule (CCR) that was adopted by the US EPA in 2015 included a provision requiring the testing of groundwater under coal ash disposal sites. The first round of groundwater data had to be made public no later than March 2, 2018.

This release of data has been incredibly enlightening -- and alarming. While we at HEC have not completed a full evaluation of the massive amount of data now available, we have seen enough to confirm that where ever coal ash is stored without a liner under it, the groundwater beneath is contaminated. You can see examples of findings from those reports here.

Learn more about our work to protect the public from negative impacts of coal ash at indianacoalash.org .
3.) Join Us at Four Awesome Events in the Final Two Weeks of March!

Thurs., March 22 (in Indy): A renewable energy panel discussion at Marian University, for which HEC is a proud sponsor.

Thurs., March 22 (in South Bend): A public talk entitled, "Making Environmental Policy Progress in the Age of Trump," which HEC's Executive Director will be giving.

Wed., March 28 (in Indianapolis): The first-ever Indianapolis Sustainability Summit, where HEC Staff will be among the presenters and moderators.

Sat., March 31 (in Indianapolis): IndyVegFest, the largest event in Indiana introducing Hoosiers to vegan food options, which can profoundly reduce our environmental footprint. HEC will be co-presenting a workshop on advocacy strategies.
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4.) Apply for a Summer Internship at HEC
Are you a highly motivated graduate student, law student, or college student looking to make a far-reaching impact for Indiana's environment? Consider applying for an internship with the HEC team! Interns at HEC gain experience in many different areas. Whether you are interested in policy, research, or outreach, you can find a role with our team. Learn more about how to apply .
5.) Save These Earth Month Dates on Your Calendar!
It's going to be another fun and busy Earth Month with HEC as we embark on our third annual #HECRoadTour to multiple events across the state! Join us at any of the following events - and be sure to keep an eye on our events calendar and Facebook page for updates and opportunities to get more involved!

April 21: Earth Day Indiana - Indianapolis
April 21: Northwest Indiana Earth Day - Valparaiso
April 21: Westfield Green Day - Westfield
April 21: Trine University Earth Day - Angola
April 22: JCC Earth Day - Indianapolis
April 22: Earth Day Fort Wayne - Fort Wayne
April 22: Z'GreenFest - Zionsville
April 28: CAFO Workshop at Wabash & Erie Canal Park, Delphi
Also, once again Aveda is partnering up with HEC to make Earth Month all about #CleanWater! Read on for information on how to benefit our water work and engage with fun activities sponsored by Aveda salons across the state:

  • Every Thursday in April, $1 from every growler fill at Sun King Brewing's downtown location will be donated to HEC. Growlers are the greenest way to enjoy a local brew (unless you're into kegs, which Sun King has too!) because there are no single-serve containers to recycle or throw away.
  • April 5: Composting at Sun King Brewing, hosted by Earth Mama Compost - $1 from every growler fill will be donated to HEC, plus take home a bag of compost that includes spent Sun King grains! 
  • April 14: Stand Up For Clean Water, hosted by Mane Attractions, Madison, IN
  • April 22: Earth Day Celebration, hosted by Rhythm Salon & Spa, Newburgh, IN
  • April 22: Running Water 5K, hosted by InTouch SalonSpa, Fort Wayne, IN 
  • April 25: Burritos for a Cause, hosted by Chipotle - Eat at any Chipotle restaurant in Indiana, tell the cashier your are there to support the cause, & 50% of your purchase will be donated to HEC!
  • April 26: Spa Night at Sun King Brewing, hosted by Evan Todd - $1 from every growler fill will be donated to HEC, plus enjoy a chair massage and/or hand treatment by donation
6.) Support HEC Green Businesses
We want to give a big shout-out to our new and renewing HEC Green Businesses listed below! They are on the forefront of making Indiana a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable place. Consider their services and thank them for supporting our work!

Get on the Bus
Ezra's Enlightened Cafe - Indianapolis

Sowing the Seeds
Dugger Family Farm - Morristown
Natural Born Juicers - Indianapolis
Keeping Afloat
Spotts Garden Service - Indianapolis
HEC Green Business Spotlight
Rectify Solar, LLC , is a family-owned business with offices in Indianapolis and Boonville, Indiana. They strive to promote energy efficiency, sustainability, and helping customers to save money with solar installation, installation of electric vehicle charging stations, and do-it-yourself solar panel kits. Rectify is currently working with First Friends Meeting in Richmond, IN, to install Richmond Power & Light's first net metering customer!
Hoosier Environmental Council | 317-685-8800 | comments@hecweb.org | www.hecweb.org