Feb. 1, 2019
Environmental Policies that IFCL supports:
Protecting Hoosiers from unregulated confined feeding operations that affect water and air quality.
Animals are being raised in extremely tight spaces. Not only is it unhealthy for the animals, management of their waste is currently poorly regulated. HB 1378 offers reasonable guidelines to protect downstream and downwind areas from water and air bacterial contamination. Urge your legislator to have this bill heard.
Protecting our water and streams
SB4 is a good bill that is moving forward. SB 4 will establish the first-ever water planning in Indiana. Both SB 4 and HB 1438 will require audits of water loss from drinking water systems, which should help prioritize infrastructure projects to stop leaks and conserve water.Construction practices can affect water quality by allowing sediment and run-off to clog streams. HB 1266 and HB 1531 would reduce local control in ways that could increase sediment pollution. We do not support these bills
Protecting our natural resources
HB 1376: Indiana Outdoor Stewardship Act will help provide funding for land acquisition for outdoor uses.
Questions have been raised recently about how timber management of state forests is determined. SB 610 calls for a State Forest Commission and Management plan.
There are many good bills that may not get a hearing before the deadline in the 3rd week of February.
Supporting Redistricting Reform
Having a supermajority of one party decreases the vitality of our democracy; citizens can feelthat their vote isn’t important and one party can determine the direction of legislation withlittle input or restraint from another point of view. There are several bills addressing redistricting reform. Unfortunately, none of them have yet been heard. SB 91 calls for an independent redistricting concern and IFCL supports this.
Reducing barriers to solar energy
Coal burning endangers the health of Hoosiers by increasing rates of asthma, preterm births, cardiovascular disease and heavy metal contamination of our groundwater. Last year a bill was passed that discourages residents, companies and schools from installing solar collection systems and selling back kilowatts generated to the local utility. Support SB 430 which would eliminate this restriction. Additionally, HOAs can limit solar installation. HB 1331 removes unreasonable restrictions on homeowners who want to install solar collection systems on their property. SB 205 needs to be heard. It proposes that SPEA be commissioned to study environmental policies.
For more information on any of these issues, go the the Hoosier Environmental Council’s 2019Bill watch page. https://www.hecweb.org/billwatch2019/