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2019 Agriculture and Environment Bill Watch List

 

Bad bill:

 

HB1266: Sediment and erosion control in construction

Author: Rep. Doug Miller (R)

Status: Referred to House Environmental Affairs

Position: CAC opposes this bill

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

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

Status: Referred to House Environmental Affairs

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: Referred to House Natural Resources

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: Referred to House Ways and Means

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).

 

HB1378: Regulation of confined feeding operations

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

Status: Referred to Senate Environmental Affairs

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

Author: Rep. Carolyn Jackson (D)

Status: Referred to Senate Environmental Affairs

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: Referred to House Environmental Affairs

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: Referred to Senate Environmental Affairs

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: Referred to Senate Natural Resources

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

Author: Sen. Lonnie Randolph (D)

Status: Referred to Senate Environmental Affairs

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:

  • Require IDEM to advise, cooperate with, and provide technical assistance to the agency.
  • Authorize the agency to undertake air pollution control activities on behalf of IDEM or in order to enforce ordinances of the local government.
  • Provide for the fair compensation for the activities performed by the local air pollution control agency. The compensation must be sufficient to cover the agency's staffing and operating costs and must be adjusted each year according to changes in the Consumer Price Index.
     

     

    SB297: Lead testing of school drinking water

    Author: Sen. Lonnie Randolph (D)

    Status: Referred to Senate Environmental Affairs

    Position: CAC supports this bill

    Description: Requires that the drinking water in every school building in Lake County be tested annually for compliance with the national primary drinking water regulations for lead and copper.

     

    SB305: Timber management 

    Author: Sen. Mark Stoops (D)

    Status: Referred to Senate Natural Resources

    Position: CAC supports this bill

    Description: Requires that, before a permit, lease, or contract is issued to a person to remove merchantable timber, the person must secure a written approval from all counties in which any truck to be used in the removal operation is to be driven. Requires the department of natural resources (department) to prepare and publish on the department's Internet web site a cost-benefit analysis concerning the removal of merchantable timber from state forests. Provides that the department may not advertise or solicit bids for the removal of merchantable timber from a state forest until the cost-benefit analysis has been published on the department's Internet web site for at least 30 days.

     

    SB467: Testing school building water for lead 

    Author: Sen. Greg Taylor (D)

    Status: Referred to Senate Environmental Affairs

    Position: CAC supports this bill

    Description: Requires the Indiana finance authority (authority) to carry out a program to: (1) sample the water in every public school building for the presence of lead; (2) report to appropriate school authorities the results of the sampling; and (3) if the sampling indicates that water in a school building contains lead at a level equal to or greater than 15 parts per billion, recommend actions that will reduce the lead level in all water in the school building to less than 15 parts per billion. Provides that the authority is not required to sample the water in a school building if the authority sampled the water in the school building during the lead sampling program the authority conducted in 2017 and 2018. Requires the authority to issue a report on the results of the water sampling in elementary schools and submit the report to the members of the general assembly. 


    SB553: Right to use Lake Michigan shore for recreation

    Author: Sen. Karen Tallian (D)

    Status: Referred to Senate Natural Resources

    Position: CAC supports this bill

    Description: Defines "Lake Michigan shore" as the land along the edge of Lake Michigan between the water's edge and the ordinary high water mark. Provides that the Lake Michigan shore is held in trust by the state of Indiana for the use of the public. Provides that the department of natural resources (department) has: (1) jurisdiction over the Lake Michigan shore; and (2) the duty to protect the public's exercise of vested public rights in the Lake Michigan shore. Provides that the construction of structures that may extend onto the Lake Michigan shore is subject to regulation and permitting by the department. Provides that the public of Indiana has a vested right to use the Lake Michigan shore for certain recreational activities. Provides that the public of Indiana does not have a right to use the Lake Michigan shore to engage in an activity that: (1) constitutes a public nuisance; or (2) interferes with the exercise by other members of the public of their right to engage in the recreational activities that the public has a right to engage in. Authorizes the department to delegate concurrent authority to a unit of local government to regulate and enforce the right of the public to use the Lake Michigan shore for recreational activities. 

     

    SB593: Regulation of confined feeding operations

    Author: Sen. Mark Stoops (R)

    Status: Referred to Senate Agriculture

    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. Provides for the department of environmental management (IDEM) to issue CFO permits instead of "approvals". Provides that a person that owns a CFO, owns the livestock in a CFO, applies for a permit, permit renewal, or permit modification for a CFO, or is otherwise in direct or responsible charge of a CFO is a "responsible party" with respect to the CFO and must disclose certain information. Provides that a person may not start construction or operation of a CFO without obtaining a permit from IDEM and may not modify a CFO without obtaining a permit modification from IDEM. Provides that the application for a permit or permit modification must be accompanied by: (1) plans and specifications prepared or certified by a professional engineer; (2) certain site-specific information; and (3) a site-specific air pollution control plan. Requires IDEM to: (1) provide public access to a permit application through IDEM's virtual file cabinet; (2) publish a notice requesting public comments on the application; (3) allow interested persons to submit written comments; and (4) hold a public hearing on the permit application upon written request. Requires the commissioner of IDEM (commissioner) to deny an application for a permit or permit modification if the proposed activity would substantially endanger public health or the environment. Authorizes IDEM to revoke a CFO permit if necessary to prevent or abate a substantial endangerment to public health or the environment. Requires the environmental rules board (board) to adopt rules establishing: (1) limits on hydrogen sulfide, volatile organic compounds, and ammonia emissions; and (2) requirements and prohibitions applying to new CFOs, CFOs proposed for expansion, and other existing CFOs. Provides that the rules must prohibit a new or expanded CFO from being located within one mile of a residence unless the owner of the residence consents to a lesser setback or the commissioner determines that the CFO's air pollution control plan will prevent the CFO from exceeding the limits on hydrogen sulfide, volatile organic compounds, and ammonia emissions established by the rules of the board. Makes technical corrections.

     

    SB610: State forest commission and management plan

    Author: Sen. John Ruckelshaus (R)

    Status: Referred to Senate Natural Resources

    Position: CAC supports this bill

    Description: Establishes a state forest commission. Specifies the membership of the commission. Requires the commission to meet in 2019, 2020, and 2021 and to issue a written report establishing a plan for the management of the state forests for the 100 year period beginning in 2022. Provides that the commission's plan must contain certain recommendations and must embody certain principles. Requires the state forest commission to set forth in its report the subjects discussed and issues raised concerning which the general assembly may choose to pass legislation. Requires the natural resources commission to adopt rules incorporating the state forest commission's determination about the percentage of state forest land falling within each of the three "priority use" categories. Requires the natural resources commission, every seven years, to conduct a review of the implementation of the state forest commission's plan and to adopt rules to revise the plan, as appropriate.

     

    SB619: Producer recycling of waste packaging and paper

    Author: Sen. Mark Stoops (R)

    Status: Referred to Senate Environmental Affairs

    Position: CAC supports this bill

    Description: Establishes a state forest commission. Specifies the membership of the commission. Requires the commission to meet in 2019, 2020, and 2021 and to issue a written report establishing a plan for the management of the state forests for the 100 year period beginning in 2022. Provides that the commission's plan must contain certain recommendations and must embody certain principles. Requires the state forest commission to set forth in its report the subjects discussed and issues raised concerning which the general assembly may choose to pass legislation. Requires the natural resources commission to adopt rules incorporating the state forest commission's determination about the percentage of state forest land falling within each of the three "priority use" categories. Requires the natural resources commission, every seven years, to conduct a review of the implementation of the state forest commission's plan and to adopt rules to revise the plan, as appropriate.

     

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    Watching:

    HB1103: Plan commission executive director

    HB1261: Septic inspections before transfer of property 

    HB1278: Various environmental matters 

    HB1486: Residential wastewater treatment devices

    HB1491: Clean water Indiana program

    HB1514: Department of environmental management fees

    HB1531: Local regulation of natural resource development

    HB1549: Division of outdoor recreation

    SB142: Building permits

    SB143: Sales tax district for healthy food programs

    SB232: Preparation and sale of homemade food 

    SB244: Division of outdoor recreation

    SB247: Annual inspections of CAFOs

    SB581: Lake Michigan shore zone administrative rules

    SB583: Residential wastewater treatment devices

     

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    Updated on 1/18/19 

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