Richrd Hill, Executive Committee member
Richard aboard a riverboat sunset cruise on the Savannah River in Savannah, GA in 2016.
I grew up on a family farm in southeastern Indiana. Spent time planting, harvesting, and weeding (ugh) in between. And then there was gathering eggs – we had lots of chickens. But, there always seemed to be time for fishing, baseball and basketball. As you can see, I spent a lot of time outdoors and thoroughly enjoyed it.
After high school I went to college for a year, but financial circumstances led me to join the Navy nuclear power program and was assigned to a fast attack submarine. That was not the life for me, so I got out as soon as I could, came back to the Madison area and went back to college. I received a bachelor's degree in Sociology and went on to complete a master’s degree in Technical Education Administration while working at Ivy Tech. I must have liked that, as I worked there for over thirty-five years.
After leaving the Navy I spent most of my “spare” time on various local and regional environmental issues. My experience in the Navy gave me a deep respect for the importance of the concerns involved with the design, construction, and operation of nuclear power plants. Upon coming back to Indiana three things happened that sparked me to get active. These were the pollution at Love Canal, the construction problems at the Marble Hill nuclear plant near Madison, and the accident at Three Mile Island. Since then, I have worked on a great variety of projects centered mainly in southeastern Indiana and northern Kentucky.
I believe my most important achievements include the parts that I played in the abandonment of the Marble Hill plant, the establishment of the Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge at the former Jefferson Proving Ground (JPG), and a federal court victory against IDEM and the EPA regarding the lack of enforcement of the Clean Water Act relating to Confined Feeding Operations in Indiana.
I was also The Community Co-chair of the Jefferson Proving Ground Restoration Advisory Board and continually challenged the Army in efforts to clean up the depleted uranium at JPG. I was also active in the case against Indiana-Kentucky Electric Corporation’s coal waste landfill at their Clifty Creek power plant in Madison which led to the Indiana Supreme Court confirmation of associational standing for citizens groups in Indiana.
I was President of Save the Valley for many years, served a couple of terms on the Hoosier Environmental Council Board, and am currently on the Executive Committee of the Hoosier Chapter of the Sierra Club. I also served on the Madison Wellhead Protection Committee, the Central Muscatatuck Watershed Committee, and remain a member of the Jefferson County Park Board.
The reason I joined the Hoosier Chapter Executive Committee over a decade ago, is that I believe that Sierra Club is the major force in our country working to counter climate change. I believe that climate change is the biggest threat to public health and the environment.