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Bill – amended to clarify controversial wetlands law – passes Indiana House

Green, grassy shoots grow up out of water with other greenery growing nearby.
WFIU
/
IPB
Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve is a wetlands preserve near Bloomington.

A bill that aims to clarify definitions in the state’s controversial wetlands law passed the state House on Tuesday.

The 2021 law removed protections for Class 1 wetlands — less pristine wetlands that still help reduce flooding and improve water quality. That was supposed to make it easier for developers and farmers to work on their land.

But some lawmakers and developers say the Indiana Department of Environmental Management has been upgrading these wetlands to Class 2 and Class 3 — which are still regulated by the state.

READ MORE: Bill would make sure controversial wetlands law works as intended

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Environmental groups say the bill narrows the definition of Class 3 wetlands — which means even fewer wetlands would get protection.

The Senate Bill 414 — which was originally only about septic systems — now goes back to the state Senate to consider changes made to it.

Rebecca is our energy and environment reporter. Contact her at rthiele@iu.edu or follow her on Twitter at @beckythiele.

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