Welcome to the archives for NewsTalk, an IBJ blog published from November 2007 through December 2010.

Backsliding on environment?

December 30, 2008
One of the most curious developments underway in state government is the moves by the Department of Environmental Management to back peddle on its mandate to keep an eye on polluters.

Environmental groups are aghast at IDEMâ??s plan to slap penalties on polluters after â??actualâ?? or â??significantâ?? harm has occurred. On the surface, the change seems to make sense; after all, the rest of us arenâ??t penalized until after weâ??ve broken a law.

But pollution and the problems it causes often arenâ??t discovered until years after the dump or emission. Thatâ??s why some of the nationâ??s regulatory agencies were established â?? to prevent problems.

The agency is undertaking several other changes, such as breaking up the Office of Enforcement and spreading its personnel throughout its air, water and land quality offices.

The changes are curious because they seem to run counter to the Daniels administrationâ??s moves to drag the state into the 21st century.

Hudson Institute President Herb London once said Indianaâ??s reputation outside the state is so bad that images of heavy metal contamination come to mind about as quickly as positive traits. Ironically, Hudson is the same think tank where Daniels once was executive vice president.

How do you feel about the changes at IDEM and Danielsâ?? environmental record?
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