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2019 Agriculture and Environment Bill Watch List

 

Bad bill:

 

HB1266: Sediment and erosion control in construction

Authors: Rep. Doug Miller (R), Rep. Ryan Hatfield (D), Rep. David Wolkins (R)

Sponsors: Sen. Blake Doriot (R), Sen. Mark Messmer (R)

Status: Signed into law by Governor Holcomb

Position: CAC opposes this bill

Votes:

Description: Prohibits a community from requiring erosion and sediment control measures that are more stringent than those required by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). HB1266 removes a measure of local control that communities have over construction projects within their communities.

 

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Good bills:

 

HB1044: Regulation of confined feeding operations

Authors: Rep. Ronald Bacon (R), Rep. Thomas Saunders (R)

Status: Died in the House Environmental Affairs Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Description:  SB1044 amends the law on confined feeding operations (CFOs), which include any confined feeding of at least 300 cattle, 600 swine or sheep, 30,000 fowl, or 500 horses. 

It establishes that CFO waste containment must be set back at least 500 feet from an onsite residence, 1,000 feet from an offsite residence, and 1,000 feet from a drinking water sources. Requires that existing CFOs wishing to expand also meet these setback requirements.

SB1044 also establishes air quality standards (for the first time ever) at CFOs and in surrounding areas, and requires that Indiana Deparment of Environmental Management (IDEM) enforce these standards.

 

HB1045: Regulation of mining

Author: Rep. Ronald Bacon (R)

Status: Died in the House Natural Resources Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Description: HB1045 requires that all blasting operations involving surface coal mining operations must be monitored with the use of at least three seismic monitors. It also establishes that a surface coal mining operation must be set back at least 1,000 feet from any of the following: (1) An occupied dwelling, unless waived by the owner. (2) A public building. (3) A school. (4) A church. (5) A community or an institutional building. (6) A public park.

 

HB1143: Healthy food finance

Authors: Rep. Robin Shackleford (D),  Rep. Steven Davisson (R), Rep. Edward Clere (R), Rep. Vanessa Summers (D)

Status: Died in the House Ways and Means Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Description: HB1143 establishes and funds the Healthy Food Financing program to provide financing in the form of loans or grants for projects that increase the availability of fresh and nutritious food in underserved communities. The program is to be administered by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA).

 

HB1278: Environmental matters

Authors: Rep. David Wolkins (R), Rep. Sue Errington (D)

Sponsors: Sen. Mark Messmer (R), Sen. Rick Niemeyer (R), Sen. Lonnie Randolph (D)

Status: Signed into law by the Governor

Position: CAC supports this bill

Votes:

Description:  HB1278 began as an environmental omnibus bill, but was amended in the Senate to establish the 15 member 21st Century Energy Policy Development Task Force, which is required to:

  • Examine and evaluate specified aspects of the state's policies concerning electric generation portfolios
  • Develop recommendations for the general assembly and the governor concerning any identified challenges with respect to Indiana's electric generation portfolios
  • Issue a report setting forth the task force's recommendations not later than December 1, 2020.

The Task Force will be comprised of 15 members:

  • 4 members of the senate
  • 4 members of the house of representatives
  • 3 members who have broad experience in electric utility policy and are appointed by the governor, and at least one of whom represents utility ratepayers
  • 1 member who has expertise with respect to the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity, appointed by the governor
  • 1 member who has expertise in advanced energy research and development, appointed by the governor
  • 1 member who has expertise in renewable energy technology and deployment, appointed by the governor
  • 1 member who has broad experience in both economic development and energy policy, appointed by the governor

Requires the IURC to conduct a comprehensive study and present it to the governor, the legislative council and the Energy Task Force by July 1, 2020 on the statewide impacts of: 

    • Transitions in the fuel sources and other resources used to generate electricity by electric utilities
    • New and emerging technologies for the generation of electricity; on electric generation capacity, system reliability, system resilience, and the cost of electric utility service.

 

HB1378: Regulation of confined feeding operations

Authors: Rep. Sue Errington (D), Rep. Thomas Saunders (R), Rep. Carey Hamilton (D), Rep. Ron Bacon (R)

Status: Died in the Senate Environmental Affairs Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Description:  Amends the law on confined feeding operations (CFOs), which include any confined feeding of at least 300 cattle, 600 swine or sheep, 30,000 fowl, or 500 horses, in the following ways:

          • Instructs the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) to issue CFO “permits” instead of “approvals” and increases the amount of information about waste treatment and water quality monitoring that the CFO must provide as a part of their application.
          • States that no construction or operation of a CFO may occur without a permit from IDEM, and that CFO’s may not be modified without obtaining a permit modification from IDEM. 
          • Creates many more opportunities for the voices of the public to be heard as a part of the permit application process.
          • Requires the commissioner of IDEM to deny an application for a permit or permit modification if the proposed activity would substantially endanger public health or the environment. 
          • Requires IDEM to establish rules limiting pollutants like hydrogen sulfide, volatile organic compounds, and ammonia.
          • Requires that a new or expanded CFO must be set back from any residence by at least a mile.
 


HB1433: Drinking water testing in schools and child care facilities

Authors: Rep. Carolyn Jackson (D), Rep. Vernon Smith (D)

Status: Died in the Senate Environmental Affairs Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Description: Requires that the drinking water in every child care center, child care home, child care ministry site, child care program site, child caring institution, and school building be tested before January 1, 2022, for compliance with the national primary drinking water regulations for lead and copper. 

If a test of the drinking water of a child care facility or school building indicates the presence of lead in the water equal to or greater than the federal lead action level of 15 parts per billion, HB1433 requires the facility to take action to reduce the lead levels in the drinking water to less than 15 parts per billion.

 

HB1568: Ban on single use plastic items in restaurants

Author: Rep. Patrick Bauer

Status: Died in the House Environmental Affairs Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Description: Makes it illegal for restaurants to provide single use plastic items (plates, eating utensils, straws made of plastic, and glasses/cups).

 
 

SB137: Ban on sale or use of coal tar pavement products

Author: Sen. David Niezgodski (D)

Status: Died in the Senate Environmental Affairs Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Description: Makes it illegal to sell coal tar or to use it in pavement products, except as required for research purposes to ascertain the effects of the coal tar pavement product on the environment. 

  

SB286: Designated wild areas in certain state forests

Author: Sen. Mark Stoops (D)

Status: Died in the Senate Natural Resources Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Description: Designates 13 specified areas within certain state forests to be protected as "designated wild areas" and specifies certain activities that are prohibited or allowed within those areas.

 

SB294: Local air pollution control agency contracts

Authors: Sen. Lonnie Randolph (D), Sen. Mike Bohacek (R)

Status: Died in the Senate Environmental Affairs Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Description: Authorizes a county, city, or town to establish or designate a local air pollution control agency. 

Requires the commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) to enter into a contract if the local air pollution control agency desires to do so. The contract must:

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