Indiana chamber reacts to Governor Holcomb’s bill to reduce wetlands protections

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Indiana Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Kevin Brinegar comments on Gov. Eric Holcomb today signing House Bill 389, repealing the state’s wetlands law.

Brinegar said, “It’s surprising and very disappointing that the Governor signed a bill that is likely to have negative impacts on Indiana’s water quality, flood control and quality of place factors that the state needs to attract and retain a skilled workforce. Two state agencies – the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management – were even quite vocal in their opposition.”

According to the DNR, one acre of wetlands provides $248 in purification services for fresh drinking water, $2,270 in water storage services and $1,055 in erosion prevention services.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has indicated that an acre of wetland can store 1-1.5 million gallons of floodwater.

All of these will have impacts on Indiana businesses that use water in their processes, not to mention our drinking water utilities.

Brinegar continued, “We readily admit Indiana’s longstanding wetlands regulations needed to be improved, but not without proper considerations of the potentially devastating consequences.”

Governor Holcomb has not yet made a response to Kevin Brinegar’s comments.

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