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Monday, December 03, 2012

Ind. Gov't. - Where are the new "Environmental Rules Board" members?

The 2012 General Assembly passed a law, HEA 1002, that repealed the Air Pollution, Water Pollution, and Solid Waste Boards, effective December 31st, 2012. See HEA 1002, SEC 72, p. 47. Replacing these three boards, according to the new law, is the Environmental Rules Board. The law creating the new board went into effect on July 1st, 2012. (Here is a Jan. 21, 2012 ILB entry on the changes.)

The ILB looked this weekend on the IDEM website, and on the Governor's website, and found nothing about this new board.

In this Nov. 20, 2012 news release, Governor Daniels announced a multitude of appointments and reappointments to various boards and commissions. Mary Beth Schneider of the Indianapolis Star wrote in a Star blog that day:

Gov. Mitch Daniels, who is in his final weeks as Indiana’s top officeholder, made 21 new appointments today to boards and commissions while also reappointing 39 other people.

It is a marked departure from 2005, when Daniels as the new governor, demanded that all those on boards and commissions offer their resignations so that he could reshape the boards and commissions with his own appointees.

A spokeswoman for Gov.-elect Mike Pence, the Republican who is succeeding Daniels, indicated Pence is fine with the appointments. * * *

In January 2005, before taking office, Daniels asked the outgoing governor, Democrat Joe Kernan, to see mass resignations from 11 state boards and commissions. Kernan refused, but Daniels, once he was governor, sent a letter to the members of 17 state boards and commissions, including those that oversee the public employee retirement funds, asking them to resign.

Fewer than a third of the 120 asked to resign did so. Others noted that they had been appointed to a set term in office, established by the legislature, and that that had not expired.

However, no appointments have been made to the successor to the three soon-to-be-repealed environmental rulemaking boards.

There was talk back in July that these appointments would need to be made promptly, as it takes some time to orient and prepare new board members, environmental rulemaking is very complex. It will be three times more so for these people, who will have to know about three media rather than one, and presumably will have to meet much more frequently than the boards that specialized in a single media did.

Some people unfamiliar with environmental rulemaking may think this lack of action is a good thing and will result in fewer "onerous" rules, but the absence of a knowledgeable environmental rulemaking body, one that can hit the ground running, will in fact seriously handcuff the State.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 3, 2012 09:53 AM
Posted to Environment | Indiana Government