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2020 Agriculture and Environment Bill Watch List

 

Bad Bills:

Jump to: Good Bills, Watching

 

SB229: Maintenance of regulated drains

Authors: Sen. Victoria Spartz (R), Sen. Blake Doriot (R), Sen. Linda Rogers (R)

Sponsors: Rep. David Wolkins (R), Rep. Robert Cherry (R)

Status: Conference Committee Reports have been filed; will now go before a final vote in the Senate and the House

Position: CAC opposes this bill

Votes:

Description:

Provides that a permit is not required from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management for the reconstruction or maintenance of regulated drains for purposes of the law concerning state regulated wetlands. SB229 deregulates the drain pipes that drain into Indiana wetlands. This will almost certainly result in more toxins being dumped into Indiana waterways.

 

HB1279: Local transportation projects

Authors: Rep. Ed Soliday (R), Rep. Jim Pressel (R), Rep. Earl Harris (D)

Sponsors: Sen. Ryan Mishler (R), Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R), Sen. Eddie Melton (D), Sen. Karen Tallian (D), Sen. David Niezgodski (D), Sen. James Buck (R)

Status: In Conference Committee

Position: CAC opposes this bill

Votes:

Description:

This bill was not on our radar until Sen. Aaron Freeman (R) authored an amendment to it that would let the state take 10% of IndyGo’s income tax revenue unless it can pay for at least 10% of annual expenses with privately raised funds. The Senate passed the amendment on 2/27/20. 

 

SB170: Mine reclamation tax credit

Authors: Sen. Mark Messmer (R), Sen. Travis Holdman (R)

Sponsors: Rep. Matt Hostettler (R), Rep. Timothy Brown (R), Rep. Shane Lindauer (R), Rep. Steve Bartels (R)

Status: Died in the House Ways and Means Committee

Position: CAC opposes this bill

Votes:

Description:

Provi-des a tax credit for a taxpayer that enters into an agreement with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) for a qualified investment for development of property located on reclaimed coal mining land. Provides for the assignment of the credit by a taxpayer to certain lessees. Provides that a taxpayer is not entitled to the credit if the IEDC determines that the taxpayer has substantially reduced or ceased its operations in Indiana in order to relocate them within the mine reclamation site. Provides that Spencer County is subject to a provision of the area planning law concerning urban areas.

 

SB73: Reports of potential violations to IDEM

Authors: Sen. James Tomes (R)

Status: Died in the Senate Environmental Affairs Committee

Position: CAC opposes this bill

Description:

SB73 is an anti-whistleblower bill. It authorizes the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) to receive reports from the public regarding potential environmental violations. It requires that the person submitting the report provide their name and address. It further requires IDEM to provide the identity of the whistleblower to the alleged violator. This will almost certainly deter people from reporting environmental violations.

 

SB130: Residential sewage discharging disposal systems

Authors: Sen. Dennis Kruse (R)

Status: Died in the Senate Environmental Affairs Committee

Position: CAC opposes this bill

Description:

Makes changes to the process to issue permits for onsite residential sewage discharging disposal systems that are installed to repair failed septic systems in certain counties. Weakens environmental regulations related to septic tanks.

 

 

Good Bills:

Jump to: Bad Bills, Watching

 

HB1265: Drinking water testing

Authors: Rep. Carolyn Jackson (D), Rep. David Wolkins (D), Rep. Earl Harris (D), Rep. Mike Aylesworth (R)

Sponsors: Sen. Lonnie Randolph (D), Sen. Rick Niemeyer (R), Sen. Mark Stoops (D), Sen. John Ruckelshaus (R), Sen. James Buck (R), Sen. J.D. Ford (D), Sen. David Niezgodski (D), Sen. Mark Messmer (R), Sen. Jack Sandlin (R)

Status: Heading to the Governor's Desk

Position: CAC supports this bill

Votes:

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, 2023, for compliance with the national primary drinking water regulations for lead and copper. Provides, however, that the testing requirement is satisfied if the drinking water of the child care facility or school building has already been tested for compliance with the national primary drinking water regulations at least once since 2016. Provides that 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, the person or entity having authority over the child care facility or school building is required to take action to reduce the lead levels in the drinking water to less than 15 parts per billion. The bill originally only applied to Lake County, but after a column entitled "High lead levels were found in our school water — but not where you would think" was published in the Indy Star on 1/26/20, HB1265 was amended to apply to the entire state. 

 

HB1337: Notification of water utilities and water treatment plants

Authors: Rep. Ryan Hatfield (D), Rep. Carey Hamilton (D), Rep. Doug Miller (R), Rep. Heath VanNatter (R)

Sponsors: Sen. John Ruckelshaus (R)

Status: Died in the Senate Environmental Affairs Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Votes:

Description:

Provides that the environmental rules board shall amend provisions within the administrative rules governing spills to provide for notification to a water utility and water treatment plant in the event of a spill or release of any substance to a water that may cause a threat to the operation of a water utility or water treatment plant. This is in response to the latest release of toxic chemicals into Lake Michigan by Arcelor-Mittal. This toxic spill happened in August 2019, and was not reported to the public until three days after the spill occurred. Lake Michigan is the source of drinking water for 7 million people. 

 

SB214: Testing of school drinking water for lead

Authors: Sen. Lonnie Randolph (D), Sen. Rick Niemeyer (R), Sen. Mark Stoops (D), Sen. Frank Mrvan (D), Sen. Timothy Lanane (D), Sen. David Niezgodski (D)Sen. Karen Tallian (D), Sen. Eddie Melton (D), Sen. Mike Bohacek (R)

Sponsors: Rep. Carolyn Jackson (D), Rep. David Wolkins (R), Rep. Earl Harris (D)

Status: Died in the House Environmental Affairs Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Votes:

Description:

Requires testing of the drinking water in every school building in Lake County at least once in each period of two calendar years to determine whether the drinking water exceeds the lead action level for drinking water established by regulations of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

 

SB368: Study of carbon sequestration

Authors: Sen. Mark Stoops (D), Sen. Susan Glick (R), Sen. Jean Leising (R), Sen. Eric Bassler (R), Sen. John Ruckelshaus (R), Sen. Mark Messmer (R)

Sponsors: Rep. David Wolkins (R), Rep. Don Lehe (R), Rep. Matt Pierce (D)

Status: Died in the House Rules and Legislative Procedures Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Votes:

Description:

Urges the legislative council to assign to an appropriate interim study committee for the 2020 interim the task of studying carbon sequestration through forest preservation and carbon farming.

 

HB1257: Notice of environmental contamination

Authors: Rep. Pat Boy (D), Rep. Sue Errington (D)

Status: Died in the House Environmental Affairs Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Description:

Requires a person who causes a toxic spill into Indiana's waterways immediately report the spill to the following: (1) The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM); (2) The county health officer of each county in which the spill occurred; (3) A downstream water user (large water users, particularly water utilities); (4) At least one emergency response agency; and (5) Each park located in the county in which the spill occurred. Requires IDEM, the county health officer, the downstream water user, the emergency response agency, and each park (entity) to: (1) post the information received about the spill on each entity's Internet web site; and (2) make the information received about the spill available to the public.

Requires the person who caused the spill to immediately provide notice by publication to the public in each county in which the spill occurred. Establishes a civil penalty of not more than $25,000 for each day that the person fails to make the report or provide the notice required by the bill. If the entity causing the spill has previous violations, the penalty can be up to $50,000 per day. Provides that a person who fails to make the report or provide the notice required by the bill commits a Class A misdemeanor. Specifies that a person commits a Level 6 felony if the person has a prior unrelated conviction for a violation of the reporting and notification requirements added by the bill.

 

HB1357: Independent testing of Lake Michigan water

Authors: Rep. Ragen Hatcher (D)

Status: Died in the House Environmental Affairs Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Description:

Requires the commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to engage an independent testing service to test and analyze the Indiana waters of Lake Michigan and report to the commissioner the results of its testing and analysis at least four times per year. Provides that the independent testing service must test and analyze the Indiana waters of Lake Michigan for the presence and concentration of pollutants that are known to constitute the greatest environmental problems for the Indiana waters of Lake Michigan. Requires that the results of the testing and analysis be made available to the public.

 

HB1415: Regulated drains and environmental concerns

Authors: Rep. Carey Hamilton (D)

Status: Died in the House Local Government Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Description:

Authorizes a county surveyor to classify a regulated drain as a drain in need of reconstruction if: (1) the functionality of the drain is compromised; and (2) the drain could, at a reasonable cost, be reconstructed to perform the function for which it was designed while better serving the interests of public health, significantly reducing undesirable environmental effects, or providing flood reduction benefits.

Authorizes a county surveyor to classify a regulated drain as a drain in need of periodic maintenance if the drain can be made to: (1) perform the function for which it was designed and constructed; (2) properly drain affected land; and (3) better serve the interest of public health, produce fewer undesirable environmental effects, or provide flood reduction benefits; through periodically cleaning, spraying, removing obstructions from, and making minor repairs, additions, or alterations to the regulated drain.

Provides that the maintenance fund established for a regulated drain or combination of regulated drains may be used to: (1) better serve the interests of public health; (2) reduce undesirable environmental effects; (3) provide flood reduction benefits; (4) improve drainage control; or (5) provide drainage water storage infrastructure or technology associated with water that flows in or into a particular regulated drain or combination of regulated drains.

  

SB104: Designated wild areas in state forests

Authors: Sen. Mark Stoops (D)

Status: Died in the Senate Natural Resources Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Description:

Provides that 13 specified areas within certain state forests are "designated wild areas". Specifies certain activities that are prohibited or allowed within a designated wild area. Establishes responsibilities for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and divisions of the DNR that manage designated wild areas.

 

SB276: SPEA study of low-carbon and green industries

Authors: Sen. Tim Lanane (D), Sen. Mark Stoops (D)

Status: Died in the Senate Environmental Affairs Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Description:

Requires the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) to assess the potential for the development of low-carbon and green industries in Indiana and the job creation, economic growth, and wealth generation that could result for Indiana communities from the development of these industries. Requires SPEA to report the results of its assessment to the legislative council in an electronic format not later than December 1, 2020.

 

SB286: Lead poisoning prevention

Authors: Sen. Jean Breaux (D), Sen. Mark Stoops (D)

Status: Died in the Senate Environmental Affairs Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Description:

Defines "elevated blood lead level" as a blood lead level of at least five micrograms of lead per deciliter of whole blood. Defines "lead poisoning." Provides that the governing body of a school corporation shall require all students who initially enroll in a school of the school corporation to be tested for an elevated blood lead level. Provides that a student may not be allowed to initially enroll unless the student has been tested and documentation of the test, including the test result, is provided to the school corporation.

Provides that a physician, registered nurse, or health care facility, agency, or program that receives a test result indicating that a child has an elevated blood lead level shall: (1) notify the child's parent or guardian in writing of the test result; (2) provide the parent or guardian with a plain language explanation of the significance of lead poisoning; and (3) take appropriate measures to ensure that any other child under six years of age living in the same household is tested for an elevated blood lead level.

Prohibits renting a dwelling unit to a tenant family that includes a child not more than six years of age if the dwelling unit has lead contamination. Provides that a landlord who knowingly or intentionally violates the prohibition commits a Class C misdemeanor.

  

SB432: Producer recycling of waste packaging and paper

Authors: Sen. Mark Stoops (D)

Status: Died in the Senate Environmental Affairs Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Description:

Requires every producer of a product or material that results in waste packaging or waste printed paper to register with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) and, either singly or jointly with one or more other producers, to submit to the department for approval a producer recycling program plan under which the producer or group of producers will provide for or finance the recycling of packaging and printed paper. Establishes goals of: (1) recycling 50% of all household packaging and printed paper by July 1, 2026; and (2) recycling 60% of all household packaging and printed paper by July 1, 2029.

  

 

Watching:

Jump to: Good BillsBad Bills

 

HB1039: Inspection of petroleum products

HB1154: Septic system inspection before property transfer

HB1227: Supplemental fee on electric and hybrid vehicles

HB1309: Department of environmental management

HB1366: Industrial waste

HB1403: Waste tires

SB63: State forest commission and management plan

SB217: Inspection of petroleum products

SB248: Annual inspections of CAFOs

SB321: The Lake Michigan shore

SB325: Public trust ownership of Lake Michigan

SB338: Conservancy district restrictions

 

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Updated: 3/11/20

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