Indiana environmental rules bill overhauled by Senate panel

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana would keep its authority to make its own environmental rules after a Senate committee passed an overhaul to a bill that would have let the federal government set all standards.

The proposal passed the Environmental Affairs Committee 8-0 and now heads to the full Senate.

The amended bill would let the Indiana Department of Environmental Management retain its power to make environmental rules throughout the state. But the bill would task IDEM to annually report any proposed change to the General Assembly.

Valparaiso Republican and committee chairman Ed Charbonneau said the change addresses concerns of opponents who argue the state would not be able to fix its own unique environmental problems. Supporters of the original bill have said too much overreach from an overzealous administration could hinder economic development.

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