Indiana House OKs Environmental Rules Bill Despite Concerns

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ A bill advancing in the Legislature is fueling concerns that it would hamper efforts to protect the state's environment and public health.


The measure sponsored by Republican state Rep. David Wolkins would bar Indiana regulators from adopting environmental rules tougher than federal standards.


The Indiana House passed the bill Tuesday on a 68-28 vote, sending it onto the Senate for consideration.


Wolkins says his measure is aimed at curtailing future actions by state regulators he fears could someday pursue environmental regulations costly to Indiana's industries.


But environmentalists and others worry that if it passes the Legislature it would hamstring Indiana's ability to respond to environmental concerns such as manure produced by big livestock farms.


Former Republican state senator and environmental expert Beverly Gard calls the measure “bad public policy.''