April 5, 2018 – 9:00 – 11:30 am


6100 Southport Rd. Portage, IN 46368

Call to Order and Pledge of Allegiance 9:00

Introductions 9:05

NIRPC Business:

  1. Approval of March 1, 2018 EMPC Meeting Minutes 9:10

  2. 2050 Plan Development Milestones 9:15

- Trey Wadsworth, Director of Transportation, NIRPC


a. Indiana Stream and Wetland Mitigation Program 9:30

- Carl J. Wodrich Director of Ecological Services, Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Urban Waters Updates 10:30

Announcements 11:20

Adjourn 11:30



Next NIRPC EMPC Meeting - May 3, 2018 9 am

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

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 March 1, 2018

Members/Guests: Bill Emerson, Jr., Jeannette Bapst, Geof Benson, George Topoll, Sarah Nimetz, Kaitlyn McClain, Reggie Korthals, Lauri Keagle, Sherryl Doerr, Tim Kingsland, Leslie Dorworth, Bob Verbik, George Malis, Deb Backhus, Maggie Byrne, Kay Nelson, David Kulczycki, Tom Davenport, Greg Towler, Michael Spina, Brenda Scott-Henry, Joe Miller, Joel Markland, Tim Zorn.

NIRPC Staff: Kathy Luther, Joe Exl and Mary Thorne.

Call to Order and Pledge of Allegiance

Chairman Bill Emerson, Jr., called the meeting to order at 9:05 a.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and self-introductions. He commented on the flooding situation in the region and thanked Reggie Korthals and Tim Kingsland for the MS4 contractors workshop last Tuesday.

Approval of September 7, 2017 EMPC Minutes

On motion by Geof Benson and a second by Tim Kingsland, the February 1, 2017 EMPC meeting minutes were approved as presented.


  1. Brownfield Initiatives in Northwest Indiana – Northwest Indiana Brownfield Coalition

    Kathy Luther, NIRPC

    Kathy Luther said the coalition members included the RDA, Hammond, Gary and East Chicago. Recommendations in the 2040 Plan included facilitation of mitigation and reuse of brownfield sites, particularly in the core communities and also work with the business sector to encourage voluntary remediation. We have secured $800,000 in EPA funding in 2013 to establish a brownfield revolving loan fund. Site assessments were done as were real estate transaction screens on over 600 parcels in the Gary 12-20 corridor. Challenges being faced include eligibility, types of brownfields, timing, problems with inventories and brownfield funding’s role in the Economic Development Ecosystem. Training was done and a bus tour was held. The brownfield revolving loan fund is open. NIRPC applied for a new coalition assessment grant and is partnering with the Form and the Lake Michigan Marina Shoreline Development Commission.

  2. Newporte Landing, La Porte David Kulczycki, Geosyntec and Nick Minich, PE, City of La Porte

An update of the former Allis Chalmers brownfield site was provided. Phase 1 development is already in place. The vision for Phase 2 will include residential, multi-use commercial and recreational space. Next steps will include lead stabilization treatability study, remedial work plan, wetland mitigation permit, remediation construction and redevelopment of phase 2A and remediation and restoration of Phase 2B. Work is expected to be completed by 2021.

NIRPC Business: Kathy Luther said the 2020 Greenways + Blueways Plan public comment period will end tomorrow. Several comments were received and are being incorporated into the public comment period report. Brief discussion followed. On a motion by Reggie Korthals and a second by Kay Nelson, the committee voted to advance the Plan to the Technical Planning Committee for

recommendation and approval by the NIRPC Board this month, contingent upon no major negative comments being received.

Public Comment: No comments were offered.


  1. Bill Emerson said HB 1096 to limit MS4 clean water approvals as relates to construction sites passed out of the House but died in the Senate Environmental Affairs Committee. He encouraged anyone has any issues like the chromium discharges in the lake, a presentation would be good.

  2. Laurie Keagle announced that the South Shore Clean Cities Green Drives Conference & Expo will be held in Naperville on May 17. Contact Catherine Yoder or Lauri Keagle for more information or go to the website at

  3. Kay Nelson announced that NIPSCO environmental grant is due April 6 and awarded on April 22 for 501(c)3’s. A press release will be emailed shortly.

  4. IDEM is hosting a Marinas Keeping Water Clean workshop for all areas marinas at NIRPC on March 29 from 9:30 am to 1 pm. A flyer is at the lobby table.

  5. The Great Lakes Water Safety Consortium will be held in Evanston on April 26-27. Contact Leslie Dorworth for more information.

  6. Laurie Keagle said in 2016, members displaced 16.8 million gasoline gallon equivalents and more than 108,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions which equals taking more than 32,000 passenger vehicles off the road for one year. At the annual meeting and awards, Dunes learning Center received the non-profit organization of the year award and NIRPC Greenfleet member of the year award went to the School City of Hammond and Porter County Recycling and Waste Reduction won the excellence in education award. Please turn in your surveys.

  7. Reggie Korthals said the Indiana MS4 partnership annual meeting is May 14.

  8. Deb Backhus said the Lake Michigan Coastal Program job opportunity closes March 5.

  9. Joe Exl said the next Deep River Dam engineering feasibility study is March 13 at 5:30 pm at the Lake Station/New Chicago Public Library.

  10. Brenda Scott-Henry said the Governor has declared a state of emergency due to the region flooding issues.

  11. Bill Emerson said his office met with Homeland Security; there were breaches in Lake, Porter, Jasper and Newton Counties.

The next meeting of the Environmental Management Policy Committee will be held on April 5, 2018 at 9 a.m.

On a motion by Geof Benson and a second by Reggie Korthals, Bill Emerson adjourned the meeting at 10:15 a.m.

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