December 7, 2017 - 9:00 am

Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission - Lake Michigan Room 6100 Southport Rd. Portage, IN 46368

Call to Order and Pledge of Allegiance 9:00

Introductions 9:05

Approval of October 5, 2017 EMPC Meeting Minutes 9:10


New Business 9:45

Public Comment 9:50

Announcements 9:55

Adjourn 10:00



Next EMPC Meeting – January 4, 2018

TTY users may access the Relay Indiana Service by calling 711 or 1-800-743-3333.

Requests for alternative formats may be made 48 hours in advance by contacting Mary Thorne

at 219-763-6060, ext. 131 or email to [email protected].

The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of 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.


NIRPC- Lake Michigan Room October 5, 2017

Members/Guests: Jan Bapst, Geof Benson, Deb Backhus, Kevin Breitzke, Maggie Byrne, Sherryl Doerr, Will Farrellbegg, Jennifer Gadzala, Daniel Goldfarb, Natalie Johnson, Lauri Keagle, Tim Kingsland, Reggie Korthals, Michael Kuss, George Malis, Kaitlyn McClain, Susan Mihalo, Katherine Moore Powell, Kay Nelson, Brenda Scott-Henry, Michael Spinar, George Topoll and Chandra Viswanathan.

NIRPC Staff: Kathy Luther, Rachel Veronesi and Mary Thorne.

Call to Order and Pledge of Allegiance

Chairman Geof Benson called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and self- introductions.

Approval of September 7, 2017 EMPC Minutes

On motion by Mary Reggie Korthals and a second by Natalie Johnson, the September 7, 2017 EMPC meeting minutes were unanimously approved as presented.


  1. Localized Flooding Resources – Kaitlyn McClain, DNR – Coastal Program

    Kaitlyn McClain presented on the resources compiled by Indiana DNR Lake Michigan Coastal Program for Northwest Indiana communities seeking to address local flooding. They are meant to serve as a starting point for understanding a community’s flood risk, tools that can be used in each community, and what groups and initiatives are tackling localized flooding issues. The resources are geared for local government staff, elected officials and commissioners, nonprofit staff, planners, developers and interested citizens. Find out more at:

  2. 2017 Air Quality Survey/Focus Group Findings – Tom Beppler, Responsive Management Tom Beppler presented the results of both a phone and in-person survey conducted in May and June of about 507 residents throughout Lake, Porter and LaPorte Counties. The survey was to determine the knowledge, importance and awareness of air quality campaigns. In general, people did not seem too concerned with air quality issues, yet when specific campaigns were mentioned, they were fairly familiar with them. They cited recycling, auto maintenance and emissions testing among things that could improve air quality. Outreach materials need to be eye-catching. The report will be made available to the committee members. Brief discussion followed.

    New Business:

    1. Katherine Powell from the Museum of Science and Industry was introduced to the committee. They would like to be more involved with the EMPC. They have done workshops for the Indiana Dunes and Save the Dunes. Katherine Powell will do a presentation at a future EMPC meeting.

    2. Kathy Luther asked that announcements be sent to Kathy and Mary Thorne as she will now be doing minutes and logistics for the committee.

    3. Several committee members commented that more work should be done with the survey, transit operators should use public education to promote transit in the region, and projects should be developed that would improve the quality of life.

    4. It was noted that the press no longer covers most of NIRPC’s meetings. Kathy Luther would consider doing Public Service Announcements if the committee chooses.

Public Comment:

No comments were offered.

Other Announcements

  1. Grand Opening of the East Branch of the Little Calumet River Water Trail Ribbon Cutting, hosted by Save the Dunes, National Park Service, NWIPA and Shirley Heinze Land Trust on Saturday, October 7 at 1:45 on the river near St. Patrick Church in Chesterton. Paddling will take place from 1 pm to 6 pm. Contact Cathy Martin at 219-879-3564 x 126 or [email protected]..

  2. The 2017 Annual Grand Calumet River Area of Concern Seminar hosted by IDEM/CARE will take place at The Diamond Center at US Steel Yard in Gary, on October 26 from 9 am to 5 pm. It is free and open to the public but registration is required at

  3. Dunestruck! 65th Anniversary Gala hosted by Save the Dunes will be held at the Uptown Center in Michigan City on November 3 from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm. Contact Natalie Johnson at 219- 879-3564 x0122 or natalie@savedunes for more information. Tickets available now at 32328262704.


  1. The Northwest Indiana Stormwater Advisory Group meets on October 19 at a location to be determined.

  2. The Lake Michigan Coastal Advisory Board will meet on October 18 at 6:30 p.m. at NIRPC to vote on the Coastal pre-proposals.

The next meeting of the Environmental Management Policy Committee will be held on October 5, 2017 at 9 a.m. featuring a presentation on the 2017 Air Quality Survey.

Hearing no other business, Chairman Benson adjourned the meeting at 10:25 a.m.

A Digital MP3 of this meeting is filed. Contact Mary Thorne at 219-763-6060 or [email protected] should you wish to receive a copy of it.