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Science and Environment

'No More Stringent Than' Bill Heads To Governor's Desk

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Charlotte Tuggle
/
WBAA

A bill that mandated new environmental regulations could not exceed federal standards is headed to the governor’s desk. It heads there only after significant changes.

The Senate passed the so-called "No More Stringent Than" bill, House Bill 1082, after significant amendments. The bill now only requires the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, or IDEM, to report proposed changes for legislative review.

Senate sponsor Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso) led the bill’s overhaul.

“We’ve ended up with I think a very good compromise, which reaffirms the role of the General Assembly as the environmental policy maker for the state,” Charbonneau says.

The compromise also states IDEM cannot implement stricter rules until after the legislature can review them.

Senior Policy Director for the Hoosier Environmental Council Tim Maloney praises the amendments but says the bill is unnecessary.

“What’s left creates additional burden on the agency, but the practical effect is it doesn’t change the General Assembly’s ability to modify or overturn any rules that a state agency adopts,” Maloney says.

The bill does allow IDEM to create tougher rules without legislative review in emergency situations.