Lake Michigan

This year’s legislative session went by quickly. If you haven’t been paying attention to energy and environment issues that came up, here’s what you need to know.

Holcomb Orders Action On Erosion Along Lake Michigan

Feb 21, 2020

Gov. Eric Holcomb issued an executive order on Thursday to help cities along Lake Michigan experiencing erosion. Among other things, it directs the state to speed up approvals for projects that protect homes and infrastructure and determine whether Indiana can declare an emergency to receive federal dollars. 

Residents who live near Lake Michigan are unlikely to get clarity this year on who can use beaches in front of private property and for what purpose. Three state bills that would have addressed that issue failed this legislative session. 

Two contradictory state bills meant to decide who gets access to Lake Michigan beaches passed out of committee on Monday. 

A House bill seeks to challenge an Indiana Supreme Court decision that secured the public’s right to use Lake Michigan beaches that are in front of private property. 

The state says ArcelorMittal failed to notify the public soon enough about problems that led to a cyanide and ammonia spill in a Lake Michigan tributary. That’s according to an investigative report by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. 

The country’s newest national park isn’t like many of the others — it’s surrounded by some of the largest industrial companies in the U.S. While Indiana Dunes’ new designation has drawn national attention, so have recent industrial spills in nearby Lake Michigan waterways.

But will the park’s designation pressure industrial companies to clean up their act? 

Galina Ovtcharova & Alexei Ovtcharov / Fotki

U.S. Steel had yet another oil leak on Friday. An official with the northwest Indiana company says it found a “light, intermittent oil sheen” near one of its pipes that discharges into Lake Michigan waterways. 

This comes just weeks after another leak from U.S. Steel and a chemical spill from ArcelorMittal that killed 3,000 fish. Residents and environmentalists are hoping this won’t become “the new normal.” 

Legislators Discuss Money For Beach Erosion Study

Aug 8, 2019

UPDATE: At the state agriculture and natural resources committee meeting, legislators recommended that the state find the money for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study into solutions to Lake Michigan beach erosion. There’s no telling whether the governor and the state budget committee will act upon that recommendation. 

Almost every Lake Michigan beach that was tested in Indiana last year had at least one day where high bacteria levels could have threatened swimmers’ health. That’s according to a national report on beach water quality by Environment America. 

Pages