Building on his reputation for being a friend of big business and a not-so-good friend of the environment,  Daniels has decided that the environmental management division can manage just fine without an enforcement division.  In his “Possibilities Unbound Plan” of 2005, one of the Guv’s goals was to make Indiana more business friendly by “streamlining” the regulatory process.  Meaning – get rid of as many regulations as possible.

Apparently he is starting with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) by closing its enforcement division.  The employees will be relocated into the air, land, and water departments where presumably they will continue to enforce regulations.  But the old adage of “out of sight – out of mind” certainly has the potential to apply to the workers and their efforts.

The truly sad thing is that Daniels simply doesn’t care.  After all IDEM is responsible for overseeing and issuing the Confined Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) permits, and his goal is to double pork production in the next few years.  Without the enforcement division, CAFO owners will not face the scrutiny needed to keep them in line.

Currently, all a potential CAFO owner has to do is send in a properly prepared application, and, bingo, it is approved.  Our legislature has done little to establish any standards for CAFOs and county officials are confused and befuddled when it comes to actually implanting some semblance of regulations to govern local CAFOs.  Without an enforcement division, CAFOs and their owners will have the CAFO-friendly business environemnt that they want and Daniels will continue to turn a blind eye to the damage CAFOs can cause – all to prop up his goal of increased pork production.

Photo Credit:  Google Images


IDEM also is adopting new policies that narrow the definition of environmental harm and investigate only after the environmental damage has been done. State officials charged with protecting people from environmental law violations will instead be asking Hoosiers to prove they were harmed by such things as chemical spills, air pollution that exceeds permitted standards or animal feces flowing freely into state waterways.

Look for Daniels to increasingly back off on environmental regulatory compliance as he pushes and shoves his way toward making the state more “economically friendly” toward big business, in general, and CAFOs, in particular.


About Charlotte A. Weybright

I own a home in the historical West Central Neighborhood of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have four grown sons and nine grandchildren - four grandsons and five granddaughters. I love to work on my home, and I enjoy crafts of all types. But, most of all, I enjoy being involved in political and community issues.
This entry was posted in Air Pollution, Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, Confined Animal Feeding Operations, Environment, Indiana, Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Industrial farms, Mitch Daniels, Soil Pollution, Water Pollution and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Clyde Hughes says:

    I’m the editor of the website OurTown.com Lafayette/West Lafayette. We are a news and information website covering the Greater Lafayette area. I’m looking for blogs with a local, regional and state-wide interested to add to our website and I came across your blog and didn’t know if you or knew of anyone who would be interested. Please check us out at http://www.lwl-ourtown.com. I hope to hear from you.

  2. Clyde:

    I visited your site. I like the set-up and am wondering what type of segment you are looking to establish for blogs? Are you going to have a blog roll or a feed or something else?

    Three of my four sons graduated from Purdue – two in agronomy and one in engineering, so I definitely have an attachment for the West Lafayette area – even though I graduated from IU undergrad and Valpo law school.

    I would be interested in having my blog listed if it meets with criteria you have established. Here are a couple of local blogs (primarily Fort Wayne area):


    The first, Fort Wayne Politics, has four contributors of varying backgrounds. The second, Fort Wayne Observed, is hosted by Fort Wayne’s 4th district city councilman, Mitch Harper. It is a news-type of blog. Perhaps you have already run across these.

    Although both blogs deal primarily with local issues, you will find pieces on state and national issues.

    Hope this helps. I will keep my eyes open for others.

  3. Cara says:

    Well, I see IDEM is living up to their moniker of “It Doesn’t Even Matter.” Now the pollutogons will thrive while health and safety beg for a fighting chance. Way to go, Mitch ol’ boy!

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