October 5, 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 September 7, 2017 EMPC Meeting Minutes 9:10


  1. LMCP Localized Flooding Resources 9:15

    Kaitlyn McClain, Lake Michigan Coastal Program

  2. 2017 Air Quality Survey/Focus Group Findings 9:25

Mark Damian Duda, Executive Director, Responsive Management,

or Tom Beppler, Senior Research Associate, Responsive Management

New Business 9:45

Public Comment 9:50

Announcements 9:55

Adjourn 10:00

Next EMPC Meeting – November 2, 2017


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.

Just following up on the details for the presentation., will be presenting for 20 mins with an additional 10 mins for Q&A (30 mins total). They will be sending me their PowerPoint on October 2nd or 3rd, so we can have it ready to go for them the morning of the meeting.


NIRPC- Lake Michigan Room September 7, 2017

Members/Guests: Geof Benson, Jen Birchfield, Mary Tanis, Will Farrellbegg, Lauri Keagle, Jennifer Gadzala, Brenda Scott Henry, Leslie Dorworth, Dorreen Carey, Chandramouli Viswana, Jeff Loewe and George Malis.

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 9:05 a.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and self- introductions.

Approval of June 1, 2017 EMPC Minutes

On motion by Mary Tanis and a second by Will Farrellbegg, the August 3, 2017 EMPC meeting minutes were unanimously approved as presented.

Old Business:

  1. Action on Resolution 17-19

    On a motion by Will Farrellbegg and a second by Mary Tanis, the EMPC voted unanimously to recommend Resolution 17-19 in Support of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and Indiana Dunes State Park Request to be Designated as a Dark Sky Park by the International Dark Sky Association to the NIRPC Board for adoption.

  2. Additional Information

Kathy Luther informed the committee that additional information received from Dr. Robert Kramer on CO2 savings for the retrofit of the HPS street lights to LED was available as a note to the August 3, 2017 minutes.


  1. SepticSmart Week September 18-22, 2017 – Dorreen Carey, DNR – Coastal Program

    Dorreen Carey presented information on a statewide outreach program to homeowners who have septic systems. The information includes a system guide, maintenance record keeping information, and yard signage designed to advertise and promote SepticSmart in the neighborhoods. Deb Backhus is the Special Projects Coordinator for the Source Tracking Project. LaPorte County has adopted an ordinance that homes on the market containing septic systems must first have a certified inspection prior to being put up for sale. Brief discussion followed. Contact Dorreen Carey for more information.

  2. Microbial Source Tracking – Jenny Fischer, Ph.D., Indiana University Northwest

Jenny Fischer presented on technology being used in tracking sources of pollution in waterways through the use of DNA testing and E. coli, which is a good indicator of microbial pollution. Fixing septic systems will not eliminate E. coli in waterways. Identifying bacteria in the watershed will show which sources are contributing to the pollution. Dr. Fischer has applied for a Lake Michigan Coastal Program grant to identify septic pollution in Northwest Indiana and establishing the proportion of E. coli derived from septic system leakage.

New Business:

a) Action on Resolution 17-18

On a motion by Chandramouli Viswana and a second by Brenda Scott Henry, the EMPC voted unanimously to recommend Resolution 17-18 in Support of SepticSmart Week September 18-22 to the NIRPC Board for adoption.

NIRPC Announcements

  1. Kathy Luther introduced Rachel Veronesi, NIRPC’s new environmental educator.

  2. Kathy Luther said NIRPC has staffing positions openings in accounting, planning, etc. Go to for more information.

  3. Kathy Luther said NIRPC is hosting the statewide Indiana MPO Conference September 25 through September 28 at the Stardust Event Center in Michigan City. Several mobile tours are being offered. A PowerPlanningPalooza will be held the morning of September 27 and the keynote speakers are from FHWA and INDOT. Go to the NIRPC website at for the registration link.

  4. Joe Exl said the CommuniTree Program was made possible with funding through a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant awarded to NIRPC by the USDA Forest Service. CommuniTree grant applications are due this Friday, September 8. The workshop and tree planting will be held at NIRPC on September 19 from 9 a.m. to noon. Go to green-infrastructure/communitree/communitree-events/ for more information.

    Public Comment:

    No comments were offered.

    Other Announcements

    1. Laurie Keagle announced the Electric Vehicle Ride & Drive on September 15 from 11 a.m. to 2

      p.m. at NIRPC. Contact Catherine at 219-644-3690 or for reservations.

    2. Geof Benson announced the Apples Festival September 16 and 17 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Chellberg Farm. Contact Geof at (219) 395-9555 or for more information.

    3. The Clean Air Golf Outing is September 19 at 10:30 a.m. at River Point Country Club, 6700 Country Club Rd, Hobart. Register at

    4. FarmHop, four local farm tours, will be held on September 23 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Buy your tickets at

    5. Green Business Workshop and Showcase is October 17 at Century Center, South Bend. Details will be forthcoming.

    6. Jennifer Birchfield said the Urban Waters meeting will be the last week in October.

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, on a motion by Mary Tanis and a second by Chandramouli Viswana, Chairman Benson 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.