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House panel endorses bill limiting environmental rulemaking

January 27, 2016

An Indiana House committee has narrowly advanced a bill that would prohibit state agencies from enacting environmental rules and standards tougher than federal regulations.

The House Environment Affairs Committee voted 7-6 Wednesday to send the legislation to the full House for consideration.

The measure was authored by committee chairman Rep. David Wolkins, who's sponsored several similar bills over the years. The Winona Lake Republican said he's been pleased with Indiana's environmental regulations for more than a decade under Republican governors.

But Wolkins said he worries future state regulators could impose tough environmental rules, stifling economic development.

Hoosier Environmental Council staff attorney Kim Ferraro said Wolkins' fears are unfounded. She also said Indiana needs to sometimes adopt rules tougher than federal standards to protect its environment and the public's health.

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