1.) Find Out about how HEC is Helping Citizens in East Chicago and Gary  

HEC's Northwest Indiana office is working to help amplify the voices of communities fighting against environmental injustice in East Chicago and Gary.  

That work has been lead by HEC Staff Attorney Sam Henderson who, as a  follower of community lawyering principles, works to keep the community's voice at the center of the ongoing state and federal responses to contamination in East Chicago and Gary.  

Our work in these communities has recently included:
  • Engaging with local groups on environmental testing.
  • Submitting public comments and testimony.  
  • Collaborating with community activists and other lawyers on public comments regarding:
    • The West Calumet housing complex demolition in East Chicago
    • Lead service line replacement in contaminated East Chicago neighborhoods
    • Army Corps's plan to dump high levels of PCBs near East Chicago's Central High School
    • Proposed dumps in Gary.
HEC recently received a Legacy Foundation grant that will permit our Attorney Sam Henderson to put his passion for Python coding to work in developing a one-stop information solution that will help communities like East Chicago keep abreast of violations, permits, and public notices in their area. Help support our efforts to advance the cause of environmental justice by contributing to our work!
2.) Join Us on September 30th -- It's Time Again to Ride for the Mounds (Greenway)!

Dust off your Schwinn, Trek, Fuji or Huffy, put on the spandex (or, if you're not into polyester, then a cotton t-shirt and shorts) and meet us in Daleville for a bicycle adventure along and nearby the scenic, free-flowing White River corridor, which would be protected by the proposed Mounds Greenway!

The Mounds Greenway plan, which is nearing its implementation stage, is an ambitious linear park proposal that combines forest and river conservation with a long distance hiking and biking trail system.

The 3rd annual Ride for the Mounds features three biking routes for all skill levels. What's more, after the Ride you can enjoy food and drink from Muncie's Downtown Farm Stand 
and a drawing for valuable prizes including a new bicycle. And if that's not enough incentive, we'll be entertained by the Hammer and the Hatchet, an original, heartfelt and inventive acoustic roots music duo, followed by a campfire jam session.

Ride registration comes with one chance to win a Momentum Cycles iNeed Street bicycle (pictured) and other great prizes!
 
And if you're not a rider, sign up for just the after ride festivities and music.  Watch our Mounds Greenway video and learn more about the Greenway proposal here.

Among our many generous sponsors are Canoe Country, Greenway 500 Bike Shop, Downtown Farm Stand, Bicycle Garage Indy, and Pro Bikes Ltd. See the full list on our registration page.
3.) Advocacy is a Year-Round Necessity: a.) Contact the Governor & DNR to Stop Plans to Log Precious Backcountry Forest, and b.) Be Sure to Register for Greening the Statehouse

Threatened Morgan-Monroe Tract.  Photo credit: IFA
Time is running out to help save a precious, nearly 300 acre forest area in the Backcountry of Morgan-Monroe State Forest!

As we reported last Friday, this forest is home to a beautiful array of trees (including those that are 200 years old!) as well as rare inhabitants, from the endangered Indiana bat to the timber rattlesnake to the West Virginia white butterfly.

It is an area that is important to hikers & other recreational users and helps to reduce run-off to nearby lakes.

Learn more about this very important issue by reading Indiana Forest Alliance's detailed brief here.

TAKE ACTION

1.) Email the Governor to express your opposition ( govholcomb@gov.in.gov) and please also submit a public comment to the DNR no later than by the end of day, Sunday, Sept. 3rd.

2.) The threat facing the Backcountry is the latest reminder that being a strong, powerful, and effective advocate for the environment is a year-around necessity. The best opportunity in the entire year to a.) get empowered with knowledge on the leading environmental issues in the state and b.) get equipped with the skills to be effective is Greening the Statehouse (GTS)!   Please be sure to take advantage of early bird pricing by registering today to be at GTS, Indiana's largest annual gathering of environmental-minded Hoosiers!

4.) Sign Up to Go Solar: Major Deadline is Coming Up

If you have been thinking about going solar at your home, or dream of seeing solar panels on your educational institution, office building, place of worship, or community center, now is an excellent time to do so. 

If you haven't already, be sure to attend a "Solarizing Indiana" workshop to find out what is involved -- costs, financing, technical requirements, and more.   If a workshop is not coming up in your area very soon, be sure to check out this overview video.

If you are a customer of Duke, Indiana-Michigan Power, IPL, NIPSCO, or Vectren, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission recommends that you submit your interconnection application to your utility no later than October 19, 2017. That will allow you to get the best policy terms with respect to " net metering": you'll have net metering for the next 30 years on your system.  If you wait longer, you may risk having net metering for just 10-15 years. (And if you wait till July 1, 2022 before you go solar, you will have, according to current law, no net metering at all.)

To learn about federal solar systems, be sure to check out this site.
5.) Learn about Dr. Leigh Raymond, Our Latest Supporter Spotlight 

Supporter Spotlight: Dr. Leigh Raymond
Dr. Leigh Raymond is a long-time HEC supporter whose interest in environmental justice and policy is reflected in his own work as a Professor of Political Science at Purdue University, where his work focuses on understanding sound environmental policy solutions.  

Reflective of HEC's collaborative spirit and educational focus, Leigh has invited HEC's Executive Director, Jesse Kharbanda, to speak to his students on multiple occasions and appreciates Jesse's giving of his time and expertise to help the next generation of leaders think not only about environmental challenges, but about their own environmental policy interests.   

In his spare time, Leigh enjoys spending time outdoors gardening, hiking local land trust areas in and around the Wabash River Valley, and visiting the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

TAKE ACTION:
We hope you'll join donors like Leigh in supporting HEC's outreach, advocacy, and technical assistance efforts across the Hoosier state!
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!

emPower Progress
Ambre Blends - Indianapolis

Sowing the Seeds
The Downtown Farm Stand - Muncie  

Keeping Afloat
Persimmon Inn - Bloomington

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