EPA THROTTLES DANIELS’ ATTEMPTS TO WEAKEN IDEM ENFORCEMENT

Well, what do ya know – slick Mitch doesn’t have quite the slight-of-hand he thought he did.  After abolishing the enforcement arm of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), sliding the employees into the air, land, and water divisions, and changing the way in which evidence is used to establish pollution harm, he and IDEM have been taken to task by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Photo Credit:  IndyStar.com

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Outraged by Daniels’ blatant attempts to dumb down the enforcement arm of IDEM, environmental groups and citizens wrote to the EPA expressing their concern at the governor’s moves to confine IDEM’s reach and duties.  Under the new policy, IDEM not only lost its enforcement arm a la Daniels but also couldn’t take action against polluters unless it had evidence an emission or spill significantly threatened human health or damaged the environment.

When the EPA got wind of the changes through complaints, it arranged a pow wow this past Thursday with the head of IDEM and various state officials to hear why the change and how it would affect Indiana’s already virtually non-existent enforcement of environmental regulations.

After all, Forbes magazine ranked Indiana as the second-most polluted state in 2007.  Way to go Mitch, your continued disregard for our Hoosier environment has put us just ahead of West Virginia, which was ranked by Forbes as the worst polluted state.  Lets hope the EPA officials aren’t hornswaggled by your tricks.

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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, Environment, Environmental Protection Agency, Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Mitch Daniels, Pollution, Soil Pollution, Water Pollution and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to EPA THROTTLES DANIELS’ ATTEMPTS TO WEAKEN IDEM ENFORCEMENT

  1. Iceironman says:

    Maybe if hoosiers wouldnt live next to rivers there would be less pollution?

  2. Iceironman says:

    Your words “but also couldn’t take action against polluters unless it had evidence an emission or spill significantly threatened human health or damaged the environment.” You want more baseless lawsuits? Welcome to cali, where we have the most abundant resources, yet cant pay the bills because of environmental wakos.

  3. Iceironman:

    Just how would you interpret “significant?” Would you like to see dozens of people die first? Or perhaps a spill that threatens river life?

    We all know that chemicals and other toxic substances are harmful to humans and to other life forms. That’s why they are called “toxic.” So I guess you would rather wait to see of the toxic substance actually killed some people or wildlife before anything was done.

    Kind a like the Ford Pinto – the company knew the gas tank was prone to rupturing in a rear-end collision but decided it was cheaper to pay the losses than to correct the defect. Wow, what a philosophy of life.

  4. Jack says:

    Just a deep concern in that currently is very difficult to get pollution issues addressed timely with IDEM policing. Without IDEM policing seriously concerned as to where any relief even investigation will come from.
    Concerned too as to motivation for this action–since likely viewed not as a consumer/resident friendly action thus is it pro business action?

  5. Jack:

    I have found in my contacts with IDEM, that they pretty much tow the Daniels’ line and follow his philosophy.

    Here is a statement from the ISDA (http://www.in.gov/isda/2329.htm) website:

    “Double hog production while increasing pork processing capacity in the state.”

    “Key Accomplishments

    * Total hog and pig production is up 8 percent from 2005.
    * The swine breeding herd increased by 14 percent in 2006.
    * In 2006, permits for confined feeding operations increased by 8.5 percent.”

    Here is the link to the “Possibilities Unbound Plan.” This is where you will see the references to pork production and other “ideas” including “better management” of our forests that Daniels and Skillman have for Indiana.

    http://www.in.gov/isda/files/In_strategic_plan_final.pdf

    Daniels’ actions are definitely pro-business. Becoming less restrictive as far as environmental regs definitely favors business and doesn’t address citizen concerns. Daniels was a pro-business politician, he was a CEO of Eli Lilly, etc., so he leans pro-business in almost all areas.

    Hope the sites help.

  6. Iceironman says:

    So if a dem is elected to Gov of IN, we have a minority dem pres, and the house is controlled by dems, will you be happy for once? Good grief, you make it sound like business is a bad thing. Last I cheched you worked for one, and it is close to a river, causing environmental issues. Where does the sewage go? How is it treated? You assume it is safe, but it isnt. All of those heavy metals, chlorine, the smell from the sewers. YUCK.

  7. Iceironman:

    Business is not a bad thing, but for business, the bottom line is “profit” which goes back to shareholders. But it is time instead of always looking at two parties in the business world, we look at all the stakeholders impacted.

    You know as well as I do that environmental protections cost money. Thus, businesses generally oppose environmental regulations. Simple fact.

    When it comes to the environment, I am non-partisan. If Dems do better than Repubs at protecting the environment, then that is what I look at. If Daniels gets his act together to protect our environment instead of trashing it, then I will support his environmental policies. We have one planet, and it is our home. You don’t trash your own home, why are we treating our planet so badly?

    I have watched a PBS show on the coming changes to CSOs in many cities. Here is a link, and while I am not crazy about my rates increasing again, I believe we must take care of our water infrastructure.

    http://liquidassets.psu.edu/the_film/index.html

  8. Mike says:

    From looking at his beady eyes, I don’t trust the guy.
    I say he smoked on too many joints.

    Buy the way, do I see a reefer in his hand???

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