IMA: Reasonable and Responsible Environmental Rulemaking Needed

Indiana’s environmental rules and regulations should be effective, reasonable and responsible. That is why the Indiana Manufacturers Association strongly supports HB 1082. The bill would require that Indiana mirror federal EPA requirements, while at the same time allow for flexibility for unique situations that may arise in the future. This bill prohibits bureaucrats from adopting environmental rules that are more stringent than the corresponding federal standards. Under HB 1082, if Indiana would adopt more stringent regulations, that approval would be by our elected officials in the Indiana General Assembly.

Many other states have similar provisions on environmental rulemaking. This bill would bring our state’s law into line with those states. Already, Indiana has this standard for the occupational safety and health (IOSHA) rulemaking, and it has served the state well for more than 30 years.

HB 1082 merely seeks to provide for consistency in Indiana’s regulatory policy. Businesses make long-term investments based upon tax, environmental regulations, or other areas where state policies reach into business operations. Businesses need as much assurance as possible that the rules in place when the decisions are made are the same when the investment is finalized.

The claims by environmental activists―and echoed by some misinformed columnists in a few newspapers―are false.

The worst claim is that this bill somehow enables a situation like what has occurred in Flint, Michigan. The serious disaster with drinking water in that city was the result of inadequate action on the part of decision makers and regulators at the local, state and federal level to follow existing law. The Flint situation represents a failure of enforcement, not a need for more rules. Currently, federal EPA rules and regulations are contained in over 26,000 pages. Indiana now has, and will continue to have, regulations that prevent this type of situation. The EPA has regulations that prevent this. All would remain in force under HB 1082.

Here is what the bill does not do―contrary to claims raised by the opponents of the bill:

• The bill does not prohibit IDEM from dealing with emergencies.
• The bill does not prevent Indiana from enacting policies that are specific
to Indiana’s needs.
• The bill does not impact local ordinances or other actions that are
authorized under statute.
• The bill does not impact existing rules.

The claims made by the opponents of this legislation should be discounted as the scare tactics that they are. Hopefully the truth and common sense will prevail, and HB 1082 will be passed by the Indiana General Assembly and signed by Governor Pence. In doing so, Indiana will continue to create a pro-jobs economy while at the same time protecting our air, land and water.

Brian Burton,
President & CEO
Indiana Manufacturers Association

About Brian Scott

I play on the radio from 7 am -1 pm weekdays on 98.9 FM WYRZ and WYRZ.org. Follow me on twitter @WYRZBrianScott or e-mail me at brian@wyrz.org.

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