IBJNews

UPDATE: Bill to limit Indiana environmental rules dies

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

After spending two decades pushing to make sure Indiana's environmental standards aren't stricter than the national ones, state Rep. David Wolkins said he didn't consider it a setback Monday when a Senate committee denied the bill once again.

Just talking about the bill represented progress, Wolkins said.

"I'm not disappointed at all," said Wolkins, a Republican from Winona Lake. "That was all I intended to get out of it at this point. We will have the discussion again."

The Senate Environmental Affairs Committee held a rare discussion on the proposal Monday, but Chairman Ed Charbonneau, R-Valparaiso, declined to present the bill for a vote during the panel's last meeting of the legislative session. The House had approved the measure 68-28 on Jan. 28.

"We appreciate the chairman's wisdom," Hoosier Environmental Council Executive Director Jesse Kharbanda said of Charbonneau's action.

The bill would have blocked the Environmental Rules Board from creating standards stricter than current federal regulations, which Wolkins said would prevent excessive and expensive regulations for industries. Lawmakers still would have the power to go further than federal rules, Wolkins said.

Businesses and agricultural lobbyists were among those who spoke in favor of the bill during nearly two hours of testimony.

"If it's the position of the state that we should have more stringent standards, we should not be relying on the federal law itself," said Justin Schneider, senior policy adviser and counsel for the Indiana Farm Bureau. "The General Assembly should authorize that."

Critics say the measure would have tied regulators' hands and stopped the state from tailoring Indiana-specific environmental policies.

Former Republican state Sen. Beverly Gard, who chaired the Environmental Affairs Committee until her retirement in 2012, previously refused to hold a hearing for the bill. Gard now heads the Environmental Rules Board. She has called the bill "bad public policy."

ADVERTISEMENT

  • It is ironic.
    You're right, it is ironic that the Indiana governor doesn't want the Feds to tell us how to provide health insurance to our poorest citizens, but his party's legislature will try to introduce a bill that allows the Feds to tell us how bad the air we breathe is and what toxins are dumped in our water supply. One of Indiana's problems is that no one in power strives to be better than. Our new motto should have been "Indiana-we don't believe in change."
  • Ironic
    That diehard state's-rights conservatives would want to turn over rule making authority to the Feds.
  • Ed Charbonneau
    Thank you Ed Charbonneau for standing up for the health of your Hoosier constituents.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. These liberals are out of control. They want to drive our economy into the ground and double and triple our electric bills. Sierra Club, stay out of Indy!

  2. These activist liberal judges have gotten out of control. Thankfully we have a sensible supreme court that overturns their absurd rulings!

  3. Maybe they shouldn't be throwing money at the IRL or whatever they call it now. Probably should save that money for actual operations.

  4. For you central Indiana folks that don't know what a good pizza is, Aurelio's will take care of that. There are some good pizza places in central Indiana but nothing like this!!!

  5. I am troubled with this whole string of comments as I am not sure anyone pointed out that many of the "high paying" positions have been eliminated identified by asterisks as of fiscal year 2012. That indicates to me that the hospitals are making responsible yet difficult decisions and eliminating heavy paying positions. To make this more problematic, we have created a society of "entitlement" where individuals believe they should receive free services at no cost to them. I have yet to get a house repair done at no cost nor have I taken my car that is out of warranty for repair for free repair expecting the government to pay for it even though it is the second largest investment one makes in their life besides purchasing a home. Yet, we continue to hear verbal and aggressive abuse from the consumer who expects free services and have to reward them as a result of HCAHPS surveys which we have no influence over as it is 3rd party required by CMS. Peel the onion and get to the root of the problem...you will find that society has created the problem and our current political landscape and not the people who were fortunate to lead healthcare in the right direction before becoming distorted. As a side note, I had a friend sit in an ED in Canada for nearly two days prior to being evaluated and then finally...3 months later got a CT of the head. You pay for what you get...

ADVERTISEMENT