The 2012 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence for Greening the Environment was presented to Clay Township Regional Waste District (CTRWD) on October 4, 2012. IDEM Commissioner Thomas Easterly presented the award during the 20th Annual Conference of the Association of Indiana Solid Waste Management Districts in Plainfield, Indiana. CTRWD has worked to become a leading environmental steward in the sewer business through the launch of several environmental programs and initiatives. These initiatives include the creation of a wildlife friendly habitat at its wastewater treatment plant, an extensive outreach program for the prevention of fat, oil and grease (FOG), moving to a paperless system in its accounting and collections department, and purchasing high-efficient equipment well above national standards.
CTRWD partnered with the Indiana Wildlife Federation in 2010 to plant 17 acres of native Indiana prairie grass, flowers, trees and plants at the wastewater treatment plant to become the only Level 3 Certified Ecosystem Steward treatment plant in Indiana. CTRWD’s goal is to promote the preservation, enhancement, and restoration of wildlife habitats, especially in urban and suburban areas of Carmel and Zionsville, Indiana.
CTRWD created the Fat, Oils and Grease (FOG) Outreach Division to reduce the harmful effects of fats, oils and grease on the sewer system and the environment. To facilitate this effort, CTRWD attends area festivals, distributes free grease prevention promotions, includes informational inserts in the monthly billing statement, conducts school presentations and offers plant tours.
The use of natural resources has been reduced through the e-bill program, paperless accounting software, paperless payroll, and a company-wide recycling program. CTRWD has committed to plant a tree for every 100 customers that enroll in the e-bill program.
CTRWD has reduced energy consumption by upgrading the air conditioning unit, furnace, water heater, and lighting with equipment that is well above the national standards for energy efficiency. The lighting at the wastewater treatment plant was upgraded environmentally friendly LED lighting which contains no mercury. They produce more lumens per watt, create substantial energy savings, and require no maintenance.
Since its creation in 1975, CTRWD’s purpose has been to provide effective and efficient sanitary sewer service to their customer base and provide a solid infrastructure for environmentally sound development. By instituting many environmentally sound principles and using technology to reduce their environmental footprint, CTRWD has worked to become a leading environmental steward in the sewer business.
Source: Clay Township Regional Waste District
Posted: November 2012
July 15, 2012 - Carmel currently has an adequate water supply as a result of our long-term water master plan, our 24 wells and four treatment plants. However, Indiana is facing an unprecedented drought this year and it may be months before there is any improvement to this situation. As a result, water utilities may need to work together to ensure that there is adequate water for domestic purposes and fire protection. Therefore, Carmel Utilities asks it customers to voluntarily conserve water.
The addition of a new water treatment facility at 106th Street and Gray Road, which has the capacity of processing 12 million gallons of water a day, has allowed Carmel Utilities to meet the largest demand for water the area has ever experienced. As part of a planned expansion that began in 2008, this new water treatment facility and two new wells were completed and added to the system in the last month.
Due to the drought conditions, this plant and our other facilities have been operating at levels never seen before. While we are able to meet the current demand, none of us can predict how long the drought will last and what our needs and the needs of the surrounding communities will be. Therefore, we are asking for this voluntary conservation so that we continue meeting the demands of our customers and conserve our resources for the current and future needs of the region.
- Carmel mayor asks residents to conserve water in case Indianapolis needs assistance
- Indy watering ban begins, but there are exceptions "..gardeners stopped caring about whether the grass was greener on the other side a while ago — now it’s all about keeping plants and trees alive."
- Noblesville declares water emergency - "While many of us take pride in our lawns, it turns out turning off those sprinklers may not be as big a deal as you might think. Purdue Extension Agent John Mayer says looks can be deceiving when it comes to that lawn turning shades of brown."I think people will be surprised they can still have a nice lawn with a little less water," he said. "When the lawn turns brown that does not mean it is dead." Mayer says the lawn can go four weeks without water and survive."
- Water restrictions in Noblesville impose mandatory alternate day outdoor watering during the week and no watering Friday through Sunday.
- Water restrictions spread to Fishers and Brownsburg Mid-day on Sunday, July 15, Morse Reservoir was down 5.67 feet, Geist Reservoir was down almost two feet, and Eagle Creek Reservoir was down just over two feet from normal pool level.
- Extreme drought spreads in Indiana. Almost all of Indiana is expiencing some level of drought.
- USDA reports corn in 18 states hurt by drought. 61 percent of Indiana's corn is now rated poor or very poor, Nationwide, the amount of corn rated good to excellent also is dropping. Soybean crops are also stressed in the region. Corn and soybean prices surged.
- Drought stirs anxiety in farm country. "Rainfall across parts of the Midwest is well below average, giving little relief to already parched soil that saw little moisture over the mild, virtually snow-free winter. April, May and June are among the warmest months on record, with little cooling air in sight. Parts of southern Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Indiana are under “extreme” drought conditions...Corn is curling and too short. Soybeans are struggling to emerge. Dairy cows aren’t producing milk because it’s too hot to eat. Cattle are being sold off in record numbers because their owners can’t afford, or find, hay or pasture."
- Drought: 55 counties declared disaster areas. "As the nation’s fifth-largest corn producer, Indiana will suffer significantly from the drought, possibly losing as much as $1 billion this year, Purdue University agricultural economist Chis Hurt estimated."
- Ethanol plant suspends production; drought a factor.
Ball State officially dedicated the first phase of its new geothermal system - the nation's largest ground source heating and cooling system.
The geothermal system will extract heat from the ground during the winter and put heat into the ground during the summer to help heat and cool buildings on campus..
When fully operational, the new system will save the university $2 million in annual operating costs, and facilitate the shut down its coal-fired boilers that burn 36,000 tons of coal a year, emitting 85,000 tons a year of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. This investment in clean energy will reduce the university's carbon footprint by about half.
Way to go, Ball State!! The geothermal project has received kudos from U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, Indiana Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman, the Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter and students from Indiana and Purdue universities.
Carmel Clay Schools' No Idle Policy
Posted August 2012
Kudos to Carmel Clay Schools! Our students can now breathe easy! The new district-wide No Idle Policy enlists parents and visitors to Carmel Clay Schools to turn off their vehicle when parked.
New No Idling signs are posted along carpool lines. Parents are encouraged to wait until the line begins to move before restarting their engines. Please visit the CCS website for policy details.
Reducing tailpipe pollution will improve air quality and respiratory health around our schools. This new policy is in line with the school indoor air quality rule passed in April 2011, and compliments the existing No Idle for buses.
When a car sits idle with its engine running, it pollutes the air. Children are among those most affected by such pollution. In fact, because children breathe faster than adults and inhale more air per pound of body weight, they are particularly affected by the poor air quality that often exists near schools when cars line up to drop off and pick up children. Children end up breathing the exhaust from idling vehicles often for extended periods of time. Air pollution can also trigger an asthma attack, an increasingly common ailment afflicting children that reduces quality of life and results in missed school.
But clean air benefits more than just children with asthma. Stopping unnecessary vehicle idling is an easy way to contribute to improved air quality and respiratory health throughout our community.
Not only does reducing vehicle idling make good health-sense, it can also save dollars and cents, at $3/gallon, idling just 10 minutes per day costs up to $180.00 per year. So, remember the costs as well as the health impacts the next time you contemplate letting your car run for several minutes at the school car pool line.
Carmel Clay Schools considering No Idle Policy for carpool line
Posted November 2011
Our school district is on a roll. Carmel Clay Schools implemented co-mingled recycling districtwide, received the Carmel Chamber Green Award in 2010, and is now exploring the next green step. The District is looking at ways to improve air quality for students. A no idle policy is being considered as a way of reducing tailpipe pollution in carpool lines to protect children from exposure to harmful vehicle emissions at school. The carpool policy would be in addition to the school bus no idle policy which has been in place for several years.
A new school indoor air quality rule was passed in April 2011 and can be found at: http://www.in.gov/isdh/files/IndoorAirQualityRule2011.pdf This is a good incentive for schools to deal with idling vehicles on campus.
On vehicle idling, it states:
410 IAC 33-4-3 Vehicle idling
Authority: IC 16-19-3-5; IC 16-41-37.5
Affected: IC 16-41-37.5
Sec. 3. Schools shall adopt and enforce a written policy to address any idling vehicles on school grounds. This policy shall be modeled after the state department's manual of best practices for managing IAQ in schools. This policy shall be available for the state inspector's review. (Indiana State Department of Health; 410 IAC 33-4-3; filed Apr 13, 2011, 11:18 a.m.: 20110511-IR-410090682FRA)
Here's the low down on no idling:
1) A No Idle Policy for School Buses has been in place for several years at Carmel Clay Schools. Buses arriving at school to load or unload students remaining at school for more than 3 minutes are to turn off their engines. These procedures save fuel costs and reduce tail pipe pollution near our students. Read policy on p20
2) Improving Kids Environment is a great resource. We connected with IKE several years ago when they came to our Green Schools Committee to tell us about their Smart Schools Don't Idle program. They have also given presentations to some of our school PTOs. For more information, contact Executive Director, Jodi Perras at
3) CGI created a brief educational piece based on IKE's presentation. It was written so it could easily be submitted to your school newsletter which is usually very tight on space: Rethink Idling Your are welcomed to use it, with attribution to Carmel Green Initiative and Improving Kids Environment.
4) Idle Free Zones for Car Pool Line at Carmel Clay Schools. The CCS School District is considering implementing this to comply with the new indoor ai quality rule -- nothing is final yet. Some schools already have it, and the School Board is thinking about doing it district wide. Hooray! Stay tuned.
5) Other Resource:
Many thanks to Jodi Perras and Improving Kids Environment. for being such a great educational resource with regard to No Idle Policies for our schools.
City's No Idle Policy
Posted August 2008
On August 19, 2008, Hamilton County was added to the EPA’s list of counties in Indiana that failed to meet federal air-pollution standards. Mayor Brainard responds with an executive order to reduce city vehicle emissions and save energy.
Mayor Brainard’s No Idle Policy for all city vehicles will reduce our community’s impact on the environment as well as save city tax dollars.
The new policy will benefit public health through better air quality and improve the quality of life in Carmel. In addition, it will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and our carbon footprint.
Carmel Green Initiative supports Mayor's "No Idle Policy" pdf
City of Carmel Media Advisory
Mayor Brainard Announces Management Policy to Help Air Quality
Carmel to ban idling of city vehicles
"When word reached Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard that Hamilton County is violating new clean air standards, he decided it was a good time to implement his newest plan to curb pollution..."
EPA: 19 counties don't meet new soot rule
"Federal officials intend to declare 19 Indiana counties - 14 more than the state had suggested - in violation of a new standard for tiny soot particles that can cause respiratory distress in children and the elderly....The 19 Indiana counties listed by the EPA are: Clark, Dearborn, Dubois, Floyd, Gibson, Hamilton, Hendricks, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Lake, Marion, Morgan, Pike, Porter, Spencer, Tippecanoe, Vanderburgh and Warrick."
EPA issues list of Midwest counties it plans to name as not meeting new, health-based soot standard
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 today issued a list of 76 counties that it plans to name as not meeting the new, health-based 24-hour outdoor air quality standard for fine particles (soot).... The new standard is designed to protect the public from exposure to these tiny particles ....
EPA Transportation and Air Quality
California Energy Commission, Consumer Energy Center
For every two minutes a car is idling, it uses about the same amount of fuel it takes to go about one mile.
The 2011 Indy Solar Tour was held on Saturday, October 1, 2011 to provide central Indiana residents with an opportunity to learn about solar power for their home or business. The Hamilton County Parks Department’s Cool Creek Nature Center serves as the central hub for many different indoor and outdoor activities in a beautiful 90-acre park and hosted the kick-off site. It turned out to be a perfectly sunny day for a tour as the photovoltaic system was generating excess power and the meter was running backwards! Visit the Cool Creek website to view the energy generated by the solar panels.
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