October 7, 2021 at 9:00 a.m.

Zoom Meeting Info Meeting ID: 811 9763 8065 Passcode: 660803

Call in: (312) 626-6799


1.0 Call to Order and Pledge of Allegiance

2.0 Introductions

3.0 Meeting Minutes of September 2, 2021 (pp. 1 – 2) ACTION REQUESTED – Approval

4.0 Public Comments

This is an opportunity for comments from members of the audience. The amount of time available to speak will be limited to 3 minutes.

5.0 Indiana Electric Vehicle (EV) Innovations

Presentation by Carl Lisek

6:0 Project and Program Updates

7.0 Announcements

8.0 The Next EMPC Meeting is scheduled for January 6, 2022 at 9:00 am.

9.0 Adjournment

The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, marital status, familial status, parental status, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program.

Environmental Management Policy Committee NIRPC – Virtual Meeting

September 2, 2021 Minutes

This meeting was convened as an electronic meeting, pursuant to Governor Holcomb’s extended Executive Order 21-24. All persons were meeting remotely on a Zoom platform that allowed for real time interaction and supported the public’s ability to observe and record the proceedings. When the agenda item was provided for public comment, this was supported as well. A roll call was taken to motion and approve the agenda items.

Bill Emerson called the meeting to order at 9:03 a.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and roll call.

In attendance were Bill Emerson (Lake County), Lauri Keagle (SSCC), Geof Benson, Alec Theisz (IU intern), Kathy Sipple (Earth Charter), Richard Morrisroe, Dan Robinson (SUN), Ashley Sharkey, Jennifer Gadzala, Jen Orsburn, Tim Kingsland (Hobart), Kay Nelson (Forum), George Topoll, Brenda Scott-Henry, Kevin Brietzke, Ellen Woodward, and Susan MiHalo (TNC)l.

NIRPC staff present were Kathy Luther, Meredith Stilwell, Candice Eklund, Kevin Polette, and Flor Baum.

The meeting minutes of June 2, 2021 were approved on motion by Geof Benson and second by Lauri Keagle. A roll call was taken, and the committee voted unanimously to approve.

There were no public comments.

Kathy Sipple and Alec Theisz presented on the Northwest Indiana Regional Green House Gas (GHG) Inventory Project update. The project is the first regional GHG inventory in the state. The data collected provided a baseline that will be used for future climate action plan development. The application for the action plan development will be open from October to December and will begin in January for participating communities. The cost per jurisdiction is incrementally higher because the program will run for the entire year. Kathy is working on securing funding to assist communities in moving forward. Interns were given the opportunity to make connections both regionally and statewide. The project is concluding in September. One intern will continue to work on preparing applications for the Climate Action phase due in December. In 2022 there will be a focus on the development of the Regional Climate Action Plans in response to data collected. Alec presented the technical overview for the region-wide emissions by sector: Residential (2%), Industrial (83.5%), Transportation (12.2%), Solid Waste (.8%), and Commercial Energy (1%). These numbers are for the participating communities of Lake, Porter, and La Porte County only for the Scope 1 emissions.

Extensive training was provided to the interns that included weekly meetings for the interns to meet the goals. A global protocol was used in creating reports. The data collected came from public sources, government sources, and from the facilities was entered into ClearPath; an online tool used to house all emissions inventories. In some cased, with the assistance of ERI and ICLEI, interns had to conduct population scaling for unavailable data. Assumed data can always be updated. The City of Hammond supplies water to certain Illinois communities, Muster and Highland. Therefore, water utilities data will be reviewed to assure there is no duplicate data.

Dan Robinson (Solar United Neighbors) presented on the 2021 Solar United Neighbors (SUN)Co-op campaign. SUN is a national nonprofit that is working to help people convert to solar energy. SUN

also advocates for solar policy at the state and national level with a presence in 12 states, including Indiana. Developing solar co-ops is one of the main pieces of work in Indiana. Homeowners and small businesses can come together to purchase a solar array/system at a co-op value price. The campaign will launch in mid-September for those would be interested in being a partner. NIRPC, 219 Green Connect, Michigan City Sustainability Commission, Earth Charter Indiana, and NWI Green Drinks are local partners and/or sponsors working with SUN. Hybrid and virtual info sessions are being held monthly. Further information will be sent out to EMPC via email.

Lauri Keagle (SSCC) presented on the South Shore Clean Cities NIRPC EMPC Report. Please click here to view the report. For more information, please visit or contact Lauri at

The next EMPC meeting is scheduled for October 7, 2021, at 9:00 a.m. in the NIRPC offices. Hearing no further business, the meeting adjourned at 10:27 a.m.