Science & Environment

Reworked Net Metering Bill Passes Senate Committee

Feb 16, 2017

The Senate Utilities committee passed a bill that would overhaul an alternative energy practice known as “net metering” by a vote of 8-2 on Thursday.

Net metering currently allows people, businesses and schools with solar panels, or other alternate energy generation sources, to sell excess energy back to utilities at the retail rate. Originally, the bill, authored by Sen. Brandt Hershman (R-Buck Creek), would’ve allowed utilities to reimburse those people at the lower, wholesale rate.

East Chicago, Indiana, city leaders have two different lead problems – lead in the soil of its Calumet neighborhood and lead in water pipes leading to some homes. They don’t know how many yet.

Now, officials are grappling to measure the extent of that lead in water pipes leading into homes. So, when they came to testify on a bill at the Statehouse that would help them cleanup the soil, they also talked about the water.

A bill to aid toxic cleanup efforts in the city of East Chicago, Indiana, passed unanimously out of a House committee on Wednesday, Feb. 8.

Rep. Earl Harris, Jr. (D-East Chicago), who authored the bill, says the city will need long term assistance to combat its lead contamination crisis.

“There’s a lot of support that’s come on the national level, on the state level, and I want to make sure that this continues,” Harris says. “This is not a short term problem.”

 

From the facilities that sanitize sewage to the pipes that deliver drinking water, Indiana needs billions of dollars in urgent water infrastructure repairs. Some of that infrastructure is more than a century old.

According to Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso), Indiana was wooden pipes, lead pipes, pipes that have been in the ground for 140 years.

“The best of the best utilities are on a replacement cycle of something like 140 years,” he says.

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