Here on the official Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, it’s a predictably mixed bag regarding Indiana and its environmental stewards.
First off, we have some good news as Mayor Greg Ballard announced today that Indy is one of 25 cities receiving stimulus funding to increase energy efficiency by retro-fitting existing structures. That’s the stimulus money that many conservatives (like Mike Pence) keep saying isn’t doing any good. Indianapolis will receive $10 million in Recovery Act funding for the city’s Near Eastside.
From the press release:
“The retrofit programs developed will serve as a model for energy efficiency neighborhoods across the country. The Department of Energy will observe the Indianapolis retrofit and other pilot programs to develop best-practice guides to comprehensive retrofit programs that can be adopted and implemented by communities across the country. City of Indianapolis Office of Sustainability staff will work with Department of Energy officials to finalize project details. Examples of energy efficiency upgrades include insulation, window replacements, energy efficiency appliances and lighting. Installation of low-flow water fixtures such as faucets and shower heads are included. The Retrofit Ramp-up Project is expected to begin in the fall of 2010.”
Back to us: We green dudes and dudettes at NUVO like the retro-fit idea, as it means you are taking existing homes and businesses and making them more energy efficient instead of tearing down structures and creating more crap in the landfills. See David Hoppe’s story on a unique retro-fitting project.
Now on to the bad news, Fox reported this (story) the other day that there have been dozens of complaints about icky smelling and tasting drinking water. Plus, it’s discolored! The explanation, provided by Veolia, was (read this phrase in your best Irish brogue) early blooming algae! Say it again in Irish brogue: early blooming algae! Throw in the word “captain” at the end — just for fun!
We’ve reported on such troubled waters in the past (see Laura McPhee’s story), as algae blooms are often the result of industrial farm pesticide- and herbicide-run-off.
Maybe that zebra mussel they found at Geist can be employed to devour the algae bloom? (See Austin Considine’s blog)
Next, as reported in the IBJ, (Indiana Department of Environmental Management) IDEM Commissioner Tom Easterly would rather not adhere to a stricter standard for ground-level ozone because, well, it just costs too much money! Whether it negatively impacts health (asthma sufferers might want to move to healthier climes) or not!
Livelihood over lives is the common approach for Daniels and his administration who always seem to put revenue (jobs, economy) over environment (life). Daniels, for his Earth Day itinerary, will be lauded by the International Center for being International Citizen of the Year, tonight at 7 p.m. at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, feted by a couple hundred folks, along with local arts groups
Sorry, but we dudes and dudettes do not abide. As long as Indiana bottom-dwells when it comes to its environmental health, we can’t support the dispensing of accolades.
The Asian Carp have already given Daniels their annual Slacker Governor of the Year Award (See: John Young's story). That’s enough awards for now (read with Irish brogue) guvnah!
See you at Earth Day Festival, April 24, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at White River State Park.