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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Ind. Gov't. - More on "No more stringent" back again

Updating this ILB post from yesterday, the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette writes today in an editorial that begins:

If recycling really bad bills helped the environment, the Indiana legislature would get a green award every year.

In fact, one of the worst legislative bills being considered once again this session is an anti-environmental-regulation measure that Rep. David Wolkins, R-Winona Lake, has been pushing for years.

House Bill 1082, popularly called the “no more stringent than” bill, would forbid Indiana officials from making or enforcing any environmental rule that is stronger than rules established under federal law.

Yes, that’s right. Under this proposal, Indiana, where support for “state rights” over “federal mandates” usually comes as naturally as breathing, would voluntarily cede its ability to respond to state or regional environmental problems to the dreaded U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or other federal rulemakers.

The bill supposedly would make it easier for multistate companies to do business in Indiana. Anyone who’s familiar with our state’s conservative approach to pollution control might find that rationale shaky.

But what does seem clear is that the “no more stringent than” rule would severely limit Indiana’s ability to respond to environmental hazards that might be vaguely addressed by federal law but that require specific solutions at the state or local level.

The bill is among those that will be heard at 10:30 this morning in the House Environmental Affairs Committee - watch here.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 20, 2016 09:43 AM
Posted to Indiana Government