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
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.