A coalition of groups has started a petition for residents who want to comment on NIPSCO's plan to remove toxic coal ash from ponds at its Michigan City Generating Station.
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management is currently accepting comments on NIPSCO's plan through May 22.
Residents who are planning to submit comments on their own can sign a petition written by the Hoosier Environmental Council, Earthjustice, Just Transition NWI and the Indiana NAACP's LaPorte County branch. Find the petition at www.change.org/NoCoalAshNWI
NIPSCO plans to remove coal ash, which contains toxic substances and fine particles that can lead to increased air pollution, and ship it in enclosed trucks to a landfill at its R.M. Schahfer Generating Station in Wheatfield.
If IDEM approves NIPSCO's plan, work could begin as early as this summer.
The groups want NIPSCO to postpone plans to remove coal ash until after the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determines the coronavirus threat in Indiana has been resolved.
The groups also are calling for NIPSCO to hire a neutral third party to conduct air monitoring in Michigan City and Wheatfield during the cleanup process, bolster communication channels with residents during cleanup, address legacy contamination caused by the use of coal ash to backfill the Michigan City property, investigate possible contamination in fish and sediment in Trail Creek, and take steps to ensure a more protective groundwater standard will be used going forward.
To learn more about submitting comments to IDEM, go to https://www.hecweb.org/issues/environmental-health-justice/coal-ash/michigan-city-coal-ash/.
To learn more about Just Transition NWI, go to https://www.facebook.com/JustTransitionNWI/.