Forbes Ranks Indiana 49th out of 50
Pollution ranking is an embarrassment
The bad news keeps mounting for Indiana's image. The latest hit came this week from Forbes Magazine, which compiled its own ranking of "American's Greenest States."
Forbes, using a formula that combined air and water quality, hazardous waste management, carbon footprint, policy initiatives, and energy consumption, ranked Indiana 49th, ahead of No. 50 West Virginia, the worst in the nation.
Indiana is lumped at the bottom with Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama. Vermont came in first, followed by Oregon and Washington.
"All suffer from a mix of toxic waste, lots of pollution and consumption, and no clear plans to do anything about it," Forbes said in its report.
It's an embarrassment that comes at a time when the state is being accused by neighboring states of lax environmental regulations on industries like U.S. Steel in Gary and BP's Whiting refinery.
The report said Indiana releases the sixth-highest amount of carbon dioxide emissions per capita of any state.
We hope the state's lawmakers who set policy are alarmed by the report. It's time for Hoosiers to demand stronger policies promoting air quality to control ozone pollution, particularly in Lake County.
Meanwhile, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management stands idly by while industrial giants like U.S. Steel and BP discharge harmful chemicals into Lake Michigan.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently objected to an IDEM draft waste water permit saying U.S. Steel should not be given five years to comply with stricter federal standards for chemicals such as mercury, ammonia, and zinc. Indiana must do better. Green should mean more than dollar signs.
To read the Forbes article, see:
© copyright Sierra Club 1892-2013