Science & Enviroment

Ag Study Committee Talks CAFOs

Aug 29, 2017

In a meeting of the agriculture and natural resources study committee that featured very little new information, state lawmakers Tuesday heard from experts and state regulators on animal agriculture and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

Committee members heard an overview of the state’s CAFO permitting process from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

And CAFO legislation expert Carolyn Orr told legislators big farm operations aren’t necessarily bad ones.

New DOE Study Explores Decline Of Coal, Nuclear

Aug 25, 2017

Natural gas, not renewable energy, is the primary driver behind coal and nuclear power plant retirements, according to a highly-anticipated Department of Energy study released this week.

The study concluded the already widely-held view that cheap natural gas and low demand drive the decline in coal and nuclear power. The report also implies that increased use of renewable energy could make the power grid unreliable in the future.

Three top federal officials visited Indiana in August: Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.

The trips were tightly scripted and large parts were closed to the public.

While federal officials have visited Indiana in the past, there has been an uptick in visits since President Donald Trump took office.

The Indiana Department of Education offered schoolchildren around the state an opportunity to view Monday’s solar eclipse through an instructional live stream.

The department partnered with an Indianapolis-area school district to provide a safe alternative to viewing the eclipse.

In Christy Overton’s fourth grade class on the west side of Indianapolis, the students are getting personalized instruction from their scientist in residence, Rick Crosslin.

Opposing sides made one final pitch Wednesday to the Whitley County Plan Commission over buffers for confined animal feeding operations, or CAFOs.

Farmers and lakefront homeowners attended the meeting decked out, respectively, in green and blue shirts. They’ve disagreed for months on temporary buffers for confined animal feeding operations and ultimately failed to reach a compromise.

Homeowners asked the commission for a two mile buffer between CAFOs and nearby lakes; farmers wanted 1,000 feet. In the end, the commission decided on half a mile.

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