2 Indiana environmental groups merge to push kids' health

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Two longtime Indiana environmental groups have merged and drafted plans for a refocused mission on children's environmental and health initiatives.

The Hoosier Environmental Council and Improving Kids' Environment announced their merger Thursday. Both Indianapolis-based nonprofits will come under the banner of the Hoosier Environmental Council, which has been Indiana's leading environmental health advocate for more than 36 years.

Improving Kids' Environment worked for two decades to reduce toxic risks to Indiana children from lead, pesticides and other sources.

Jesse Kharbanda is the council's executive director. He says the merger "enables our combined organization to better tackle remaining challenges."

He says their focus will now be on three children's health initiatives, including reducing childhood lead poisoning and decreasing bacterial pollution so kids have clean drinking water and streams to play in.

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