IBJNews

Indiana moving slowly on lake phosphorus rules

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A state effort to address phosphorous pollution that has fouled Indiana's waterways is moving forward slowly, but environmental groups' hopes for help from lawmakers is likely to be dashed this year.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management is working on new rules to establish numeric standards for phosphorus in lakes. But a bill that would place restrictions on the application of lawn fertilizer containing phosphorous is unlikely to get a hearing in the House, according to Casey Arqawi, press secretary for state Rep. Dick Dodge, R-Pleasant Lake.

The Indiana Conservation Alliance, whose 30 members include the Indiana Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy and the Indiana Lakes Management Society, had made passage of the bill a priority, but the boycott by House Democrats over divisive right-to-work legislation caused delays that could make it difficult for the bill to be heard, Arqawi told The Star Press.

Phosphorus has been blamed for algae blooms that have tainted waterways across the state in recent years.

In August 2011, state officials found high levels of blue-green algae at eight of 13 public swimming beaches sampled, including Potato Creek State Park, Chain O'Lakes State Park and Raccoon State Recreation Area. Sampling by IUPUI also found high levels of the algae, also known as cyanobacteria, in Geist, Morse, Eagle Creek and Patoka reservoirs.

A similar bloom in Prairie Creek Reservoir in 2010 affected about 700,000 drinking water customers in Muncie, Indianapolis and other communities, causing a horrible smell and taste that lasted for days.

Exposure to blue-green algae during swimming, wading and water-skiing can lead to rashes, skin and eye irritation and other issues, including nausea, stomach aches and tingling in fingers and toes.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1988 recommended that states accelerate the adoption of nutrient standards for water bodies. The EPA has continued to encourage states to adopt standards since that time.

Shivi Selvaratnam, a technical water quality specialist at IDEM, said the state is in the process of adopting standards for lakes and reservoirs. The pending phosphorus rule also would affect municipal wastewater treatment plants.

Selvaratnam said officials hope to draft rule language by the end of the summer.

If Indiana does not finish the rule-making, the EPA could apply national lakes nutrient criteria to Indiana lakes.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Phosphorus Bad/Legislature Worse!
    How can our legislature find time for "Right to Work" legislation, be so slow to enact meaningful non-smoking legislation and even have a member consider introducing legislation to regulate how the National Anthem is sung, and yet put off consideration of something that adversely affects the citizens they supposedly represent? This Republican controlled government continues to amaze me with their disdain for the needs of the people.
  • priorities
    glad to know we can push RTW, but the health of a basic need is tossed aside.....

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. Why should I a home owner pay for this"car sharing" ????

  2. By the way, the right to work law is intended to prevent forced union membership, not as a way to keep workers in bondage as you make it sound, Italiano. If union leadership would spend all of their funding on the workers, who they are supposed to be representing, instead of trying to buy political favor and living lavish lifestyles as a result of the forced membership, this law would never had been necessary.

  3. Unions once served a noble purpose before greed and apathy took over. Now most unions are just as bad or even worse than the ills they sought to correct. I don't believe I have seen a positive comment posted by you. If you don't like the way things are done here, why do you live here? It would seem a more liberal environment like New York or California would suit you better?

  4. just to clear it up... Straight No Chaser is an a capella group that formed at IU. They've toured nationally typically doing a capella arangements of everything from Old Songbook Standards to current hits on the radio.

  5. This surprises you? Mayor Marine pulled the same crap whenhe levered the assets of the water co up by half a billion $$$ then he created his GRAFTER PROGRAM called REBUILDINDY. That program did not do anything for the Ratepayors Water Infrastructure Assets except encumber them and FORCE invitable higher water and sewer rates on Ratepayors to cover debt coverage on the dough he stole FROM THE PUBLIC TRUST. The guy is morally bankrupt to the average taxpayer and Ratepayor.

ADVERTISEMENT