The Little Emporer and two of his supporters – House Representative Phyllis Pond of New Haven and Senator Dennis Kruse of Auburn – have once again come up with an idea to assault Indiana’s environment.   House Bill 1047 – submitted by Pond and Senate Bill 0079 – submitted by Kruse – would establish an “environmental rule review board” which would review state environmental rules to make sure they are as lenient as they can possibly be.  The gist of the board’s duties would be to review the relevant rule, decide if it is more stringent than a federal rule, and, if so found,  prohibit adoption of the rule by the boards that oversee air pollution, land pollution, and water pollution.

The bills, if passed, would make a mockery of efforts to protect our air, land, and water.  The interpretation of just which rules are too tough would be left up to the board.  The board could strike down and prohibit from adoption any rule it desired with a statement that the board found the rule to be too stringent and beyond what the federal rule required.  The rule would, thus, never see the light of day.

By the time any action challenging the board’s interpretative decision could wind its way through the administrative process and then into the courts, the environmental damage would be done.

DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL (in the Senate and in the House)

Environmental rule review board. Establishes the environmental rule review board. Prohibits the air pollution control board, water pollution control board, and solid waste management board from adopting a rule that contains a provision that is more stringent than a corresponding federal provision established under federal law until the environmental rule review board approves the rule. Prohibits the environmental rule review board from approving a proposed rule that contains a provision that is more stringent than a corresponding federal provision established under federal law unless the board finds that the provision is necessary to address an emergency situation that is unique to Indiana.

Daniels isn’t even making any secret anymore of his distaste for our environment and his position that the environment obstructs his rush to accommodate big business and big agriculture.

The composition of the board would include the following as voting members:

  • the Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental MisManagement, and
  • two appointees of the governor – from the business community, one from business and industry and one from small business

And hold on to your hats on this one -the board would include four nonvoting members to act in an advisory capacity.  The four nonvoting members would include two members from the Senate and two members from the House.  Any bets on who those members might be?

I will lay you odds those members will represent areas with big agricultural interests such as CAFOs and ethanol plants.  The board – if the bills pass – will be a farce stacked against protecting our environment.

Hoosiers need to sit up and take notice of what this man is doing to Indiana’s environment.  He has already abolished the enforcement arm of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and now he is trying to ensure those very boards regulating our air, land, and water do not pass any rules that – heaven forbid – might provide more protection for our environment than he thinks is necessary.

Notice how nicely the environmental review board dovetails into Daniels’ recent abolishment of IDEM’s enforcement arm.  Daniels has assured citizens that those who enforced regulations under IDEM’s enforcement unit will simply be moved into the separate divisions withint IDEM – the air, land, and water sections.  An environmental review board with the power to determine which rules should be prohibited and which shouldn’t  coupled with a decrease in enforcement actions, spells disaster for our environment and ensures that Daniels will not be hindered in his plans to exploit our air, land, and water.

Remember how he drove around in an RV acting like he was all rural and stuff and really cared about Indiana?  What we are about to see is an assault on our environment in the next four years like we have not seen from any governor before.

Daniels is a lame duck, he doesn’t care, and he is bound and determined to not let our environment get in the road of big business and corporate concerns.  Hoosiers need to take action and stop the continuous assault against our environment by Daniels.  Write to your legislators and let them know that you care about our environment and have had enough of his efforts to destroy our air, land, and water.

Here is the website where you can locate your state representatives and state senators.


Photo Credit:  A Greener Indiana

St. Marys River, Fort Wayne, Indiana


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. Pete C says:

    The restriction in the wording — that the board may not approve a protective measure for Indiana unless it is an emergency — has some real potential for quick-bucks-and-out. Looking at information on CAFO pollution, for instance: do we have a guideline for determining how many miscarriages in the vicinity of a CAFO would be considered normal, abnormal, troublesome, what’s up with that? — “EMERGENCY” ?

    Indiana is not Number One on the top-polluter lists yet (although I notice we’ve hit in the top ten or twenty on some measures). Maybe that’s the idea in restricting environmental protection. We’re not Number One yet.

  2. Pete:

    The restriction also states that the “emergency must be unique to Indiana.” That almost ensures that nothing will get emergency consideration.

    Using your example of miscarriages in the vicinity of a CAFO, the board would argue that it isn’t unique to Indiana since CAFOs exist in other states and the problem would, thus, exist near those CAFOs as well. So not unique to Indiana.

    I did see in the legislative bills that one was introduced to require IDEM to include an office of enforcement (HB1351). I did not see a Senate companion, and I am not familiar enough with our legislative procedures to know for sure whether a companion has to be introduced. Here is the text of the House bill:

    SOURCE: IC 13-13-3-1; (09)IN1351.1.1. –> SECTION 1. IC 13-13-3-1 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2009]: Sec. 1. The department must include the following offices:
    (1) An office dealing with environmental emergencies.
    (2) An office for communications with the public.
    (3) A hearings office, including the department’s hearing officers.
    (4) An office to conduct investigations.
    (5) An office to enforce environmental management laws and rules.

  3. Mike says:

    Charolette, do you have an email where I can send a picture that I put together? It shows how phony and irresponsible our government is.


  4. Marymary says:

    I’m trying to figure out how such a commission would help Indiana in the long run. Seems to me that Daniels and his buddies want to bring in low-paying jobs that make little money for anyone except the agribusiness interests. Furthermore, by speeding up environmental degradation, progressive companies with highly educated employees will not be coming to Indiana. This bill and the people who support it are incredibly short-sighted.

  5. Mike says:

    This is all from peronal experience:
    1. Commissions help only themselves and the people who put them together.
    2. Commissioners (along with the governor and lt. governor) do not want to listen to the little man.
    3. The BZA is either not smart enough to catch (or purposely overlook) bogus information.

    Conclusion: Indiana would be better off if it had commissions that were at least as smart as a fifth-grader. While they’re at it, boot out Becky Skillman and the Little Emperor.

  6. Norma says:

    I don’t know the specifics in your state, however, regulatory agencies, boards, councils, etc. are taking the place of elected officials and hamstringing business, agriculture, leisure, etc. with their little power groups. I think this sounds like a good idea. Interesting that the assumption is that these groups of 3 or 30 have only your best interests and not their own political power.

Comments are closed.