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Sunday, 20 June 2021

The wetlands bill is headed to Holcomb's desk

Credit: WTHI
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The wetlands bill is headed to Holcomb's desk
The wetlands bill is headed to Holcomb's desk
The wetlands bill is headed to Holcomb's desk

A bill that's causing plenty of discussion is heading to the governor's desk... yesterday, we told you the indiana house of respresentatives passed senate bill 3-89.

That's the bill that would take protections "away" from isolated wetlands across the state.

Today, storm team 10's anissa claiborne shares new developments on the bill and give us a closer look into the recent changes.

Pk} aniss} senate bill 389 has gained attention from environmentalists, farmers, and builders across the state.

Some in support.... but some are also concerned.

Pk} on tuesday, the house of representatives passed senate bill 389.

This version excluded an amendment that would preserve protection of most wetlands in the state.

This upset many state environmentalists.

"we were very disappointed in the version of this bill that passed the house yesterday.// indiana is a water rich state and we need to be careful with our water resources."

On wednesday the senate voted 31 to 19 in agreement with the house version of the bill.

This version takes away the law that requires a permit and or certification for class 1 wetland activities only.

A class 1 wetland is an isolated wetland that has been affected by human activity by atleast 50 percent and or supports only minimal wildlife or aquatic habitat.

The indiana farm bureau supports the new version of this bill.

Jeff cummins, is the indiana farm bureau associate director of policy engagement.

He says this version will help farmers in more ways than one.

"when it comes to clarifying class i wetlands, clarity on tile drain maintenance and repair, clarity and protection regulatory relief on ephemeral streams, and some of the increased efficiencies on permitting, those are the top four issues that farm bureau wanted to see resolved, and i think we have those and we're grateful that a compromised version was adopted."

The bill also includes a wetland task force.

That task force will consist of 14 members and will receive support from the department of natural resources.

The group will research and develop recommendations for wetland related issues across the state.

Aniss} since senate bill 389 has passed the general assembly, it's now headed to governor eric holcomb's desk.

If you'd like to send your thoughts on the bill to the governor, you can find his contact information on our website.

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