Oppose HB 1082 'No-More-Stringent-Than' Bill

HB 1082 – Environmental rules and standards.
Bill author: Rep. Wolkins

Position: CGI opposes HB 1082.  
CGI has joined a broad coalition to support policies that build a more sustainable community, and oppose the ones that don't.

1) Testimony on HB 1082 was heard in the House Environmental Affairs Committee on Jan. 20th. As shown below, the Indiana Chamber and 12 health, faith and environmental groups testified in opposition. Many thanks to George Schenetzke who testified on CGI's behalf. Notably, the only groups supporting this bill are lobby groups for manufacturing, cast metal, electric utilities, petroleum, convenience store, farm, and pork industries. To view the archived video of the hearing, click here and select Jan. 20th, testimony for HB 1082 starts at 32 min.

2) On Jan. 27, HB1082 passed  out of House Environmental Affairs Committee with a 7-6 vote.  Please join us in thanking Rep. Donna Schaibley, the only Hamilton County representative on this committee, for voting against this bill.   Rep. Schaibley's contact info: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  317-232-9863.  To view the archived video of the hearing, click here and select Jan. 27th, testimony for HB 1082 starts at 4:30 min

3) On Feb. 2, HB 1082 cleared the House 64-33 .  While this is a disappointing loss, it's better than last year when the no more stringent bill (HB 1351) passed out of the House with a much wider margin 78-18. So, there's been a little improvement over last year. Unfortunately, Hamilton County Representatives Torr, Huston, Richardson, and Cook voted for HB 1082.  Kudos to Rep. Schaibley the only Hamilton County representative and among only 6 House Republicans to oppose this horrible bill.

4) Testimony on HB 1082 was heard in the Senate Environmental Affairs committee on Feb 15. There is a growing number of opponents to the bill. Many thanks to George Schenetzke who testified on CGI's behalf. Notably, the only groups supporting this bill are corporate lobby groups shown below. To view the archived video of the hearing, click here and select Feb 15th, testimony for HB 1082 starts at 8:40 min, proponent's testimony begins at 2 hrs 9 min

5) On Feb. 22, HB 1082 was amended with a strip-and-insert amendment that would require IDEM to report all rulemaking to the legislature annually, and passed out of the Senate Environmental Affairs committee with an 8-0 vote.  Senator Scott Schneider is the only Hamilton County legislator on this commitee.  Sen. Schneider's contact info: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   (317) 232-9808.  To view the archived video of the hearing, click here and select Feb 22nd, testimony for HB 1082 starts at the begining.

6) On Feb. 25, HB 1082 was amended on 2nd reading in the Senate to add more reporting requirements to IDEM.

What's Next: The Senate Version of HB 1082 will go to the Senate floor for 3rd reading.   Watch live online.

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About the bill:

House Version

Senate Version

HB 1082 prohibits Indiana's technical experts at Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) and the Environmental Rules Board (ERB) from setting higher environmental standards than those established by the EPA.  It would handicap Indiana's local technical experts from determining when our rules need to be more stringent to protect public health, and Indiana's water and air. CGI believes that state and local agencies with input from public testimony should continue to be empowered to write regulations, derived from general rule making authority, that help Indiana head off contamination risks.  As much local autonomy as practicable is desirable. CGI opposes HB 1082 which would prohibit Indiana regulators from enacting any new regulation, except those that are explicitly authorized by state or federal law.

This bill is designed to restrict the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) from developing rules that help ensure a safe environment.

We believe that HB 1082 is an attack on the long-standing ability of professionally-trained technical experts and regulators to adopt rules, after careful consideration and proper discretionary authority that protect our residents.  HB 1082 exposes Hoosiers, if passed, to environmental risks by denying timely rules that protect us from such dangers as chemical spills contaminating our water supplies.

Some legislators claim that federal regulatory bodies are too aggressive at the expense of economic growth. However, there are nine statutory checks on regulatory overreach, and the attorney general reviews all regulations, and should the governor disapprove of any, he can veto them.  Moreover, business and industry have great influence over what regulations pass out of IDEM. Of the 15 members of the IDEM board, nine are representatives of industry.

In addition, there are areas where the EPA has been weak, if not absent. For example, the EPA has not adequately protected the public from the serious pollution threats of fracking, coal ash sludge lagoons, factory farm waste, outdoor wood boilers, and above-ground chemical storage tanks to name a few.

This bill could make it illegal for regulators to enact any new regulation unless explicitly authorized by federal or state law. It would prohibit state regulatory agencies from making any regulations that do not strictly adhere to what is allowed in this bill.  In effect, it would eliminate the multi-decade discretionary authority that executive agencies have long had, and could have the added effect of paralyzing agencies in carrying out their existing responsibilities out of fear of being sued for going beyond what those federal programs require.

HB 1082 weakens Indiana's ability to make its own decisions on how best to protect its people. This is inconsistent with Hoosiers’ long tradition of protecting “state’s rights", effectively, putting more, not less, power in the hands of the federal government to make those decisions for Indiana.

The Senate amendment strips the original language of HB 1082 (House Version) that would require an act of the legislature to address gaps in EPA environmental regulations, and inserts language that requires the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) to report annually to the legislature any proposed rulemaking that may be more stringent than federal law, and delays its implementation until after the end of the legislative session.

On the face of it, the Senate bill appears to strike a middle ground, adding more transparency to the rulemaking process, and enabling stakeholders to review and raise concerns of overreach, but in effect it accomplishes the same thing as the original House version.

Both versions of the bill add an unnecessary layer of government to prevent Indiana from making rules that are more stringent than the EPA.  Additional layers are unnecessary because Indiana has a long history of not being more stringent. Indiana ranks near the bottom of many environmental measures and was ranked the 49th greenest state by Forbes, hardly a left-wing group.  There are already numerous provisions in Indiana code that restrict IDEM and the Environmental Rules Board (ERB).   Corporate interests are already well represented in the rulemaking process as 9 of the 16 members of the ERB are from industry.  In fact, every corporate lobbyist supporting HB1082 said they didn't have any problems with IDEM and the ERB.






















  • Journal Gazette editorial
  • Indiana Chamber of Commerce
  • Hoosier Environmental Council
  • American Academy of Pediatrics, Indiana Chapter
  • Indiana State Medical Association
  • Potential Public Health Partner
  • Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light
  • Indiana Friends Committee/Quakers
  • Indiana Wildlife Federation
  • CAFO Watch
  • Carmel Green Initiative
  • Save the Dunes
  • Citizens Action Coalition - Statehouse Report
  • Sierra Club-Hoosier Chapter
  • Earth Charter Indiana


  • Indiana Manufacturing Association
  • Indiana Energy Association (electric utilities)
  • Indiana Pork  Advocacy Coalition
  • Indiana Cast Metals Association
  • Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association
  • Indiana Farm Bureau
  • Indiana Petroleum Council