Environment news

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

A bill that mandated new environmental regulations could not exceed federal standards is headed to the governor’s desk. It heads there only after significant changes.

The Senate passed the so-called "No More Stringent Than" bill, House Bill 1082, after significant amendments. The bill now only requires the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, or IDEM, to report proposed changes for legislative review.

Senate sponsor Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso) led the bill’s overhaul.

Maycomb Paynes / https://www.flickr.com/photos/24730945@N03/

House lawmakers approved a bill Monday that regulates Indiana’s high-fenced deer hunting preserves, sending the measure to the governor. That comes more than a decade after the legislature first began working on the issue.

The state tried to shut down high-fenced hunting preserves more than 10 years ago.  A court battle finally ended last year with a ruling that said the state couldn’t regulate the facilities at all, under current law. 

Wabash River Enhancement Corp.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit says it will review a legal challenge that Indiana and 17 other states filed against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's "Waters of the U.S." rule.

huntingdesigns / https://www.flickr.com/photos/huntingdesigns/

Legislation imposing rules and restrictions on Indiana’s high-fenced deer hunting facilities looks likely to pass through the House. But, industry opponents are still lobbying for stricter language.

Environmental and conservation organizations have long opposed high-fenced deer hunting, an industry left unregulated by the courts last year.

The likelihood of the General Assembly banning the industry outright this session is essentially zero, but the opposition groups hope to strengthen proposed rules and restrictions.

Randy McRoberts / https://www.flickr.com/photos/rmcrob/

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ newly-revised strategic forestry plan doesn’t include any significant changes to the amount of timber cut by the Indiana agency, but does include plans to make forests more accessible to Hoosiers looking to pitch a tent or explore a cave.