MERRILLVILLE | The town was recognized Tuesday for its focus on environmental matters.
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management has designated Merrillville as a Comprehensive Local Environmental Action Network Community.
IDEM Commissioner Tom Easterly told the Town Council there are 11 communities in the state that have received the designation. Merrillville is the fourth town to be recognized as a CLEAN Community.
“This is one of my favorite programs,” Easterly said.
With the designation, the town could receive priority for some grants IDEM has available, Easterly said.
There are multiple requirements to receive the designation through the free and voluntary program.
Among them is establishing a quality of life plan, Easterly said.
People are also reading…
Merrillville’s plan includes five initiatives the town will focus on during a three-year period.
The five objectives identified in the town’s plan are low impact development practices, stormwater management improvements, development of additional wetland habitat, litter reduction and curbside yard waste collection.
Multiple town departments, including the Stormwater Utility, parks department and public works, are collaborating to achieve the goals.
Encouraging low impact development practices can help to reduce stormwater runoff at the sites of new developments and redeveloped properties.
Those practices could include creating rain gardens or using permeable pavement.
Expanding curbside yard waste collection could help to alleviate some drainage issues in communities. Yard waste often ends up in storm sewers or ditches, which can cause water to collect after heavy rain.
Parks officials already have addressed litter in parks facilities. The department has installed stations for pet waste.
After discussing the designation, Easterly presented the town with a plaque and signs Merrillville can install to indicate the town has been named a CLEAN Community.