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BusINess » Environment

Posts Tagged ‘Environment’

Million dollar storm

Snow melts last week in the Walmart parking lot in Highland. Warming temperatures helped gradually melt the 20 inches dumped on the region at the beginning of the month. (Photograph by Jonathan Miano/The Times.)

Snow melts last week in the Walmart parking lot in Highland. Warming temperatures helped gradually melt the 20 inches dumped on the region at the beginning of the month. (Photograph by Jonathan Miano/The Times.)

Two weeks after the Blizzard of 2011, many communities were just finishing cleaning up, with a little help from higher temperatures that caused most of the snow to melt gradually, preventing flooding.

Lake and Porter counties were hit with more than 20 inches of snow, high winds and bitter cold over several days starting Feb. 1. The estimated cleanup tab is at least $1,334,249.
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Will reversing the Chicago River prevent the Asian carp invasion?

A new study announced this week will focus on ways to separate the Mississippi River from the Great Lakes watershed in order to prevent a potentially devastating Asian carp invasion. (Photograph courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.)

A new study announced this week will focus on ways to separate the Mississippi River from the Great Lakes watershed in order to prevent a potentially devastating Asian carp invasion. (Photograph courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.)

A new $2 million study announced last week aims to identify options for separating the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River to prevent an Asian carp invasion.

The study, expected to be completed in the next year, will look at the controversial possibility of undoing the century-old engineering feat that reversed the course of the Chicago River away from Lake Michigan. The approach is referred to as eco-separation.

The Great Lakes Commission and the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, groups representing American states and cities and Canadian provinces put at risk by the potential invasion, are sponsoring the project, which has been endorsed by Mayor Daley, Governor Quinn and Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL), among others.

Tim Eder, executive director of the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Great Lakes Commission, said the new study begins with the conclusion that eco-separation is the best way to stop Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes. “How you do that, where you do it, and at what cost is what we’re attempting to identify with our study,” he said.
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Whiting Refinery chief says $3.8 billion project unbowed by challenges

A worker prepares a segment of the $3.8 billion modernization of the BP Whiting Refinery. The project, which will allow the plant to process more heavy crude oil extracted from Canadian tar sands, is on track for completion in 2012. (Photograph by Heather Eidson/The Times.)

A worker prepares a segment of the $3.8 billion modernization of the BP Whiting Refinery. The project, which will allow the plant to process more heavy crude oil extracted from Canadian tar sands, is on track for completion in 2012.
(Photograph by Heather Eidson/The Times.)

Most executives might call it a year to forget.

Since Nick Spencer began working at BP in October 2009, the company has had to shake the impact of the recession and fuel-price crash. Months later, the company faced a storm of negative public opinion and rising costs as a result of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP also shuffled its management ranks, with Bob Dudley succeeding Tony Hayward as the London-based company’s chief executive.
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How a clean environment makes NWI healthier and sustainable

“Two for One,” “Kill two birds with one stone” are phrases that are part of our everyday language. How do these common phrases relate to Northwest Indiana sustainability? This is a conversation that we must have because it is about protecting ourselves in places we live, work and raise our families.

Virtually all of the strategies that promote Northwest Indiana sustainability have more than one benefit—or deemed co-benefits. In many cases, they provide much more than just a “two-fer.” Sustainability strategies save money, conserve resources for future generations, improve public health, and make Northwest Indiana communities better places to live.

Governmental education has promoted us to prevent pollution at the source and promoted the principles of responsible environmental stewardship, sustainability, and innovation. We all have read the negative news of where NWI ranks in terms of air quality and environmental progressiveness. Read the rest of this entry »


NiSource remains top 10 green utility

NiSource Inc. has maintained a top 10 ranking among U.S. utilities in Newsweek magazine’s 2010 Green Rankings.

“Our strong showing among utilities in the green rankings is consistent with our commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship in all aspects of our business,” NiSource CEO Robert Skaggs Jr. said.

Headquartered in Merrillville, NiSource is mainly a provider of natural gas, with 3.7 million customers in the Midwestern and eastern United States. It is also the parent of Northern Indiana Public Service Co., with 712,000 natural gas and 457,000 electric customers in northern Indiana.
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Pipelines carrying fuel products a fact of life in Calumet Region

Pipelines run above ground along Avenue H near Kennedy Avenue in Griffith. The entire Calumet Region sits on top of hundreds of miles of pipelines carrying millions of gallons of natural gas, crude oil and refined petroleum products every day. The region is a major hub for the transportation of petroleum and natural gas all over the Northern Hemisphere and for production of petroleum products at refineries including the BP facility in Whiting and East Chicago, the Citgo refinery in Romeoville, Ill., and the ExxonMobil facility in Joliet. (Photograph by The Times.)

Pipelines run above ground along Avenue H near Kennedy Avenue in Griffith. The entire Calumet Region sits on top of hundreds of miles of pipelines carrying millions of gallons of natural gas, crude oil and refined petroleum products every day. The region is a major hub for the transportation of petroleum and natural gas all over the Northern Hemisphere and for production of petroleum products at refineries including the BP facility in Whiting and East Chicago, the Citgo refinery in Romeoville, Ill., and the ExxonMobil facility in Joliet. (Photograph by The Times.)

It’s no longer a matter of if an oil spill or natural gas leak could occur in northern Indiana because both have happened here.

According to environmental activists, the questions are when will pipelines leak again and how much damage will they do?

This summer’s four pipeline failures—three resulting in oil spills in the Midwest and a deadly natural gas pipeline explosion in California—have created new awareness of what’s running right under the region’s soil.

The entire Calumet Region sits on top of hundreds of miles of pipelines carrying millions of gallons of natural gas, crude oil and refined petroleum products every day.
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Lakefront park strikes gold

Waves, stirred by strong winds, crash onto the breakwall at Portage's Lakefront and Riverwalk Park, which is part of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. (Photograph by Kyle Telechan/The Times.)

Waves, stirred by strong winds, crash onto the breakwall at Portage's Lakefront and Riverwalk Park, which is part of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
(Photograph by Kyle Telechan/The Times.)

The Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk site of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore received a champagne toast Tuesday afternoon for bringing in the gold.

The park site, a former Midwest Steel/U.S. Steel wastewater treatment plant, recently received the Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design award from the U.S. Green Council.

The park, owned by the National Park Service but maintained and operated by the city, was a partnership since its inception between the steel mills and local, state and federal government. Its construction was funded by the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority and is considered the poster child for U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky’s Marquette Greenway Plan to reclaim 75 percent of Lake Michigan’s shoreline for recreational use.
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Work on union building pulses with possibility

Raymond Kasmark, business manager for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 697, stands near one of the solar panel assemblies on the roof of the union's new building in Merrillville. The facility is scheduled to be completed in December. (Photograph by The Times.)

Raymond Kasmark, business manager for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 697, stands near one of the solar panel assemblies on the roof of the union's new building in Merrillville. The facility is scheduled to be completed in December.
(Photograph by The Times.)

The environmental features of a training and administration center for an electrical union and electrical contractors association are emerging as construction of a new building continues.

About 40 workers are at the site at 7200 Mississippi St. working to complete the facility for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 697 and National Electrical Contractors Association, said Ray Kasmark, the IBEW Local 697 business manager.

Kasmark said the 42,000-square-foot building is about 80 percent complete, and it should be finished in December.
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Biz Buzz, Fall 2010

>> CROWN POINT

NICU coming to local hospital this fall

A neonatal intensive care unit is scheduled to open in the fall at Saint Anthony Medical Center, 1201 South Main Street.

The 12-bed unit, slated to open in November, will be housed in the hospital’s maternity department, called the Birth Place. Staff will include neonatalogists and specially trained nurses.

“This is something we have wanted for years,” said Carol Schuster, vice president of patient services. “With our number of annual deliveries now up to around 1,600, we are able to justify the need and better serve our parents and their babies.”
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South Shore Clean Cities presents Tweaks in Technology

From the BusINess inbox—The BusINess editors are committed to keeping you informed about the latest news in NWI. Here’s today’s submission from South Shore Clean Cities:

Join South Shore Clean Cities on Thursday, September 30, from 8 to 10 a.m. for an informational event featuring guest speaker Dan Martin, Director, Sales and Marketing-Clean Fuels from AmeriGas at the Purdue Technology Center of Northwest Indiana, (9800 Connecticut Drive, Crown Point). Learn about one of the nation’s most versatile sources of energy, propane, also known as liquefied petroleum gas (LP-gas). This safe fuel serves approximately 60 million people in the United States in millions of homes, industries, farming and more.

Since 1959, AmeriGas has continuously provided the most reliable, safest, and responsive propane service in the nation. Over 1.3 million customers use AmeriGas propane services in nearly 50 states. That has made AmeriGas the largest marketer of propane. They use the size of their organization to their client’s advantage every day. While retaining their focus on friendliness and personal attention found only in a “corner store.” AmeriGas customers have come to count on their propane provider for a variety of uses, including home heating, space heating, water heating, pool and spa heating, drying, cooking, grilling and motor fuel.

While this informational event is free, registration is required. A complimentary continental breakfast will be provided. For more information or to register, contact SSCC at 219.644.3690 or email tweaksntech@yahoo.com.