Letters: Hoosiers, do we want to keep drinking our water?

·2 min read

Hoosiers, two bills aimed at protecting groundwater from coal ash pollution are stuck in committee — the Environmental Committee! — of the Indiana General Assembly.

It’s absurd, but the logistics of industry and transportation puts coal ash pits in floodplains and next to rivers. If the coal ash pits fail to contain the coal ash, the water we depend upon for life itself can become polluted with very toxic minerals, including mercury, arsenic, radium and lead. And, because climate changes to the atmosphere have begun to result in more flooding, that "if" has become more like a "when." These two bills, Senate Bill 412 and House Bill 1335, each concerning the safe disposal of Indiana’s coal ash, address moving it out of the floodplain and away from the riverbanks — if they are passed.

What to do? Contact our Sen. David Niezgodski and ask him to push Environmental Committee Chair Sen. Mark Messmer to move SB 412 out of committee and onto the floor of the IGA for debate and action. Also contact House Environmental Committee Chair Rep. Mike Speedy to request the same for HB 1335, co-authored by our Rep. Maureen Bauer. This session is short: Write today!

Molly B. Moon

South Bend


Ten (really 10) musings and questions to ponder for the start of a new year from a no-spin kind of guy:

1. Rhetorical (or maybe not) question: If the smallpox vaccine prevents smallpox, and the polio vaccine prevents polio, why doesn’t the COVID vaccine prevent COVID?

2. Will inflation continue to rise or continue to rise?

3. Why do 93% of adults not say they have a great deal of trust and confidence in newspapers, television and radio news reporting?

4. Are taxes too high or too high?

5. Will fewer police officers result in higher crime rates or higher crime rates?

6. If no one is securing our border, will drug cartels import more fentanyl or more fentanyl?

7. Is Joe Manchin running for president in 2024 or in 2024?

8. Is Jackie Walorski going to be reelected in 2022 with 65% of the vote or with 65% of the vote?

9. Is Elon Musk brilliant or brilliant?

10. Is Brandon Brown the most popular NASCAR driver or the most popular NASCAR driver?

Hope everyone has a YUGE 2022.

Jamie O'Brien


The writer is a former Republican member of the St. Joseph County Council.

This article originally appeared on South Bend Tribune: Bills in state legislature address safe disposal of Indiana's coal ash

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