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Canned Hunting Bill Headed to Governor
Despite widespread opposition from conservation, environmental, hunting and animal welfare groups, the controversial bill legalizing and expanding canned hunting in Indiana -- SB 109 -- is on its way to the Governor for his signature.  HEC and our allies will be evaluating options for addressing the harmful impacts of this industry on Indiana's native wildlife. 
Support HEC Green Businesses
Thank you to our HEC Green Business Supporters! We encourage you to support those green businesses that share in our mission to make Indiana a better place to live, breathe, work and play!

The Sky is the Limit
NUVO - Indianapolis

Get on the Bus
Endangered Species Chocolate - Indianapolis

Sowing the Seeds
Natural Awakenings Indy - Indianapolis

SOLARIS - Carmel

Keeping Afloat
Just Goods - South Bend

Greenscape Geeks - Indianapolis
Want to Get Involved?
Looking to get more involved with HEC and our work across the state to preserve and protect the environment?

Contact our Senior Outreach Associate, Amanda Shepherd, for updates on volunteer training and other opportunities! Email ashepherd@hecweb.org to learn more!
ISSUE NO. 3-2016 / MARCH 5, 2016 
Major Environmental Win Projected, 
But Vigilance Still Needed
No environmental issue in the Indiana General Assembly has attracted as much time and attention as the "No More Stringent Than" issue. This policy measure, seen in this year's HB 1082, would make it illegal for Indiana's environmental regulators to act on their long-standing authority to do anything more protective than federal standards.
Given the dangers posed by this legislation, an unprecedented coalition of groups came together to oppose this measure, advancing a powerful outreach, media, and citizen lobby effort. As of this writing, the "No More Stringent Than" language has been removed from HB 1082 -- a tremendous victory for the environment! We cannot, however, be complacent, as this very controversial language may resurface in another bill before the end of the legislative session, which is projected to end on March 10th.

Be sure to follow HEC on Facebook or Twitter for the latest developments!
Take Action on HB 1386: Defend the Integrity of the Indiana Dunes State Park!
Legislation intended to benefit a controversial new banquet center near the beach in Indiana Dunes State Park has passed both chambers of the Indiana legislature. Introduced as HB 1247, this language would grant an alcohol permit for the new Dunes development, bypassing the local alcoholic beverage commission which has already denied the permit. In the Indiana Senate, the Dunes language was added to HB 1386, an omnibus alcohol bill that may end up in conference committee, providing another chance to stop this legislation.  On Monday, the grassroots coalition Dunes Action delivered 10,000 petition signatures to Governor Pence opposing the banquet center project.

Act Now: Please contact  your state representative and state senator and urge them to oppose HB 1386 or any other conference reports containing the Dunes legislation.
Progress on One Recycling-Related Bill (SB 366), But a Call to Action on Another One (HB 1053)
HEC has long been quite concerned about SB 366,  a bill allowing counties to disband their solid waste management districts, despite the fact that these districts have been on the frontlines of diverting thousands of tons of reusable glass, metal, plastic, and paper from landfills for recycling, and protecting our streams and lakes by collecting household toxic waste for proper disposal.

We opposed the original bill and have been educating the public, our partners, and the media about SB 366's risks to the future of recycling and household hazardous waste collection.

Fortunately, the House version of SB 366 has now been significantly amended to provide that the commitments and services of districts will be maintained by the county in the event a district is dissolved. Senate Bill 366 now also requires that both the county commissioners and county council approve dissolution of a district, and also provides that a public hearing be held before a vote is taken on a proposal to dissolve a district. 

SB 366 could be improved further, but in its current form makes it much less likely that well-performing solid waste districts will be disbanded.

On the other hand, we encourage supporters to email Governor Pence urging him to "veto HB 1053"! This bill would make it illegal for cities to have the freedom to curb plastic bag use. Please be concise, respectful, and clear in your request!
HEC Achieves Appeals Court Victory in Outdoor Wood Boiler Pollution Case
Outdoor wood boilers (OWBs) are used in rural areas for home heating and hot water needs. Unfortunately, their use has led to serious public health threats due to their toxic air pollution.
Not surprisingly, living conditions are often greatly diminished for people who live near old OWBs -- people like Gary and Mable Bowling, an elderly couple who live in a rural town southeast of Indianapolis.  In 2010, their neighbor installed one of the dirtiest, most polluting OWBs on the market just 50 feet away from the Bowlings' home. Since then, the Bowlings have suffered from headaches, eye, nose & throat irritation, and difficulty breathing, which has led them to the ER many times.
Although the Bowlings repeatedly sought help from state and local officials, they were ignored because the neighbor's older model OWB -- which is now illegal in some states -- is allowed in Indiana. This regulatory failure and government indifference to our fellow Hoosiers' suffering, prompted HEC to take legal action including seeking a court injunction to prevent the neighbor from using the OWB while we pursue the case. After the trial court wrongly denied the request, we appealed to the Indiana Court of Appeals and won! 
Although legal action is always a last resort, sometimes it is necessary to prevent immense injustices such as this. Learn more about the case and our broader efforts to protect the clean air & water rights of Hoosiers.
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Hoosier Environmental Council | 3951 N. Meridian Street | Suite 100 | Indianapolis | IN | 46208