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Ask Renee: It's time to start contacting your legislators

Protect the Crown Hill old-growth forest, our drinking water and the US EPA budget

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The General Assembly is back in session, which means it’s time to start writing and calling your legislators again! I’ve drafted a few messages on some issues that are important to me that I thought I’d share with you. Please feel free to borrow from me, but try to personalize your message so it is authentic and not canned.

Crown Hill Woods
The situation here is dire, as contractors and equipment started arriving last week in preparation to clear the old-growth forest. Contact Mayor Joe Hogsett and Senator Joe Donnelly to ask them to tell the VA to save the Crown Hill North Forest.

Indiana Forest Alliance flyer

My letter to Mayor Hogsett and message to Senator Donnelly

HB1001 State biennial budget
The second half of the session kicked off with the Senate hearing HB1001, the state biennial budget. The House version of the bill includes minimal new environmental or conservation funding. While there are many opportunities to increase funding and protect our environment, a priority is increased funding for IDEM to ensure safe drinking water and the clean-up of contaminated sites.

IDEM is responsible for overseeing the operations at 4,056 drinking water systems in Indiana. Over the last 10 years, drinking water staff has decreased while risks to these water systems have increased. For contaminated sites (like former industrial facilities, leaking underground storage tanks and dry cleaning facilities), the House-passed budget bill contains funding for new staff for one site in Indianapolis. Meanwhile, there are hundreds awaiting clean-up.

HEC Indiana State Budget Bill Watch

My messaging to my State Senator

And last (for now), but not least, on a federal level, contact Senator Joe Donnelly (202-224-4814, email Joe ) with these messages:

Please urge the White House Administration to maintain the existing Clean Water Act rule. The newly proposed narrower definition of where the Clean Water Act applies could leave 54% of Indiana's stream miles at risk for pollution or destruction.

Additionally, I am opposed to the Administration's plans to cut the US EPA budget, which includes a 97% cut to Great Lakes Restoration.

Hopeful for the best possible outcomes for the environment on all bills that we’ve been following this session!

Piece out,
Renee

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