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State's big polluters spewed less last year

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State environmental regulators say toxic emissions by larger Indiana polluters fell 18 percent, or 20.6 million pounds, last year.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management disclosed the 2009 data this month, citing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s newly released Toxic Release Inventory, or TRI.

Electric-generating utilities accounted for 50 percent of the state’s pollution, with 49 percent from manufacturers.

The TRI data aren’t considered a comprehensive measure of pollution, however, in part because reporting is limited to firms that make or process more than 25,000 pounds of chemicals on the toxics list or use more than 10,000 pounds of the chemicals in a given year.

It’s also unknown to what extent the lower numbers stem from better practices among polluters—or to what degree emissions reflected reduced manufacturing output during the recession.

Many businesses have found ways to switch to safer chemicals or to eliminate them altogether, “and many have increased the efficiency of their processes to reduce or virtually eliminate chemical use,” IDEM Commissioner Tom Easterly said in a statement.

Overall, the Indiana manufacturing sector reduced toxic emissions 19 percent last year, while electric utilities curbed pollution 13 percent, according to TRI data.

The state’s coal-burning electric utilities have been upgrading their pollution-control devices in the last decade to comply with tougher federal and state limits on sulfur and nitrogen dioxide.

Last week, Indianapolis Power & Light asked state utility regulators to collect an additional $8 million from ratepayers to cover cost overruns on a flue gas desulfurization project at its Petersburg generating station, now estimated to cost $128 million.

The TRI data do not measure non-industrial activities that generate toxics, such as vehicle exhaust, which contains chemicals like toluene and xylene.  The data are more useful in identifying trends in chemical use and ways to modify industrial processes.

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  1. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

  2. My responses to some of the comments would include the following: 1. Our offer which included the forgiveness of debt (this is an immediate forgiveness and is not "spread over many years")represents debt that due to a reduction of interest rates in the economy arguably represents consideration together with the cash component of our offer that exceeds the $2.1 million apparently offered by another party. 2. The previous $2.1 million cash offer that was turned down by the CRC would have netted the CRC substantially less than $2.1 million. As a result even in hindsight the CRC was wise in turning down that offer. 3. With regard to "concerned Carmelite's" discussion of the previous financing Pedcor gave up $16.5 million in City debt in addition to the conveyance of the garage (appraised at $13 million)in exchange for the $22.5 million cash and debt obligations. The local media never discussed the $16.5 million in debt that we gave up which would show that we gave $29.5 million in value for the $23.5 million. 4.Pedcor would have been much happier if Brian was still operating his Deli and only made this offer as we believe that we can redevelop the building into something that will be better for the City and City Center where both Pedcor the citizens of Carmel have a large investment. Bruce Cordingley, President, Pedcor

  3. I've been looking for news on Corner Bakery, too, but there doesn't seem to be any info out there. I prefer them over Panera and Paradise so can't wait to see where they'll be!

  4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

  5. The Pedcor debt is from the CRC paying ~$23M for the Pedcor's parking garage at City Center that is apprased at $13M. Why did we pay over the top money for a private businesses parking? What did we get out of it? Pedcor got free parking for their apartment and business tenants. Pedcor now gets another building for free that taxpayers have ~$3M tied up in. This is NOT a win win for taxpayers. It is just a win for Pedcor who contributes heavily to the Friends of Jim Brainard. The campaign reports are on the Hamilton County website. http://www2.hamiltoncounty.in.gov/publicdocs/Campaign%20Finance%20Images/defaultfiles.asp?ARG1=Campaign Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim

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