Environmental Management Policy Committee

Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 9:00 a.m.

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6100 Southport Road

Portage, Indiana 46368

(219) 763-6060

1.0 Call to Order and Pledge of Allegiance

2.0 Introductions

3.0 Minutes of January 9, 2020

Action Required: 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 NOFA presentation and process Charles Bradsky, NIRPC

6.0 EMPC Discussion Going Forward Kathy Luther, NIRPC

7.0 Announcements

8.0 Next EMPC Meeting

9.0 Adjournment

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.

Environmental Management Policy Committee NIRPC – Lake Michigan Room

January 9, 2020 Minutes

Members/ Guests: Bill Emerson, Jan Bapst, George Topoll, Geof Benson, Susan Mihalo, Kathryn Vallis, Jenny Orsburn, Drew Hart, Dan Haag, Carol Rupski, Hala Kuss, Rick Massoels, Dave Greinke, Nicholas Ream, Sarah Nimetz, Myra Cseke, Tim Kingsland, Sherryl Doerr, Jeff Loewe, Lauri Keagle, Michael Spinar, Natalie Johnson, Reggie Korthals, and Jen Birchfield

NIRPC Staff: Joe Exl, Kathy Luther, Candice Eklund, Mitch Barloga, Charles Bradsky, Peter Kimball, and Kevin Polett, and Flor Baum

Call to Order

Bill Emerson called the meeting to order at 9:04 am with the Pledge of Allegiance. The meeting was streamed live on YouTube at

Kathy Luther introduced Flor Baum, NIRPC’s new administrative assistant. Kathy Luther also announced Candice Eklund as the new Executive Assistant.

On motion by Geof Benson and second by Tim Kingsford, the September 5, 2019 meeting minutes were approved as presented.


NWI Sub Area Plan Presentation - Dan Haag, EPA

Dan Haag, the On-Scene Coordinator with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), presented on the Sub Area Contingency Plan (SACP) for Region 5, with a focus on inland and coastal areas, as a way of responding to spills, or potential spills of hazardous substances within Northwest Indiana.

The EPA is also attempting to link their databases to other government facilities to provide the most current reporting. For local government to access these databases, visit EPA’s website to request access.

EPA received a question regarding the plan beginning a year and a half ago and still only being a draft plan. The EPA responded the SACP templates have been created and approved as of November 2019 and they have been coordinating with multiple government entities and the testing plans for the three counties. There has also been exercises with a HAZMAT element.

The next SACP meeting will be held on February 4, 2020 in Michigan City.

For the full presentation, please follow this provided link: content/uploads/2020/01/NWI-Sub-Area-Contingency-Plan-Update_January-2020.pdf

Living Streets Presentation – Mitch Barloga, NIRPC

Mitch Barloga presented on the Living Streets Resolution draft policy that is merging both Complete and Green Streets elements into one policy. The policy will require that construction projects funded through NIRPC allocated transportation dollars include consideration of all travel modes (including pedestrians, bicycles, etc.…) and green infrastructure in the scoping and design of the project up to a maximum of 15% of project cost. The draft policy will be presented and reviewed by each topical committee, including TPC, before being recommended to the Commission meeting for final approval in February or March 2020. All comments need to be submitted to Mitch Barloga at

[email protected] or 219-254-2518 by the end of January. Lauri Keagle recognized the efforts of Mitch and the working group for the completion of this draft policy.

A concern was brought up about the Draft version 12-11-19, pp. 5 – 6, regarding the recommended plants and trees. A NIRPC staff member shared with the committee that factors and funding will be considered for species selection, as well as future consideration of design and specifications.

Other Business

2020 EMPC Schedule – Kathy Luther, NIRPC

Kathy Luther presented the proposed EMPC schedule for 2020. Coordinate with Kathy about additional ideas to be shared for meeting, or non-meeting topics.

Vehicle Emission Workshop Update – Lauri Keagle

Lauri Keagle provided an update on the focus of the contract South Shore Clean Cities (SSCC) has with NIRPC regarding the vehicle emission educational workshop for the state of Indiana. Legacy Environmental Services, stated there will be an educational workshop on February 7, 2020, in place of February 6th meeting. The workshop will reintroduce legislation, and be fact and data driven.

Resource information will also be presented for failed emissions.


Announcements were made by several committee members. Future environmental events will continue to be announced at the EMPC meeting, however; the Calumet Heritage Area Program and Events Calendar will replace both the announcements form used at the EMPC meetings, and a separate notification sent to the committee. The link to their events calendar is


Hearing no other business, Bill Emerson adjourned the meeting at 10:49 am.