Bill to reduce number of Indiana's most protected wetlands heads to governor
A controversial bill that would reduce protections for the state’s wetlands is headed to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s desk. It’s been called a compromise — but the history of Indiana’s wetlands law, as well as testimony from wetland experts and advocates, suggest it’s anything but.
That change also created a wetlands task force to find balance between advocates, regulators and developers. But the member representing home builders didn’t show up to the meetings.
Now, two years later, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and developers said they’ve struck a compromise in this latest bill. Yet wetland advocates and experts say they weren’t consulted.
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Sen. Sue Glick (R-LaGrange) applauded IDEM’s work to bring clarity to developers in light of a U.S. Supreme Court decision. Still, she didn’t vote for the bill.
“I think it has some serious shortcomings which might have been resolved had everyone been a part of the discussions," Glick said.
After about three years of debate, it’s unclear when Indiana will reach a true compromise with all stakeholders at the table.
The Senate passed the bill 32 to 17.