The Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s proposed 401 Water Quality Certification and Wetland Water Quality Standard rules are now being considered by a Wetlands Subcommittee of the General Assembly’s Environmental Quality Services Council. The Subcommittee, chaired by Senator Vi Simpson (D, Bloomington), is dominated by advisory members from agriculture, industry, and utility interests. Sandra Wilmore of Save the Dunes Conservation Fund and George Smolka of the Sierra Club’s Duneland Chapter are among the members (5:21) from the environmental community. The last meetings have covered the wetland water quality standards and mitigation. Considering what we started up against, we are relatively pleased with the proceedings thus far. The next topic, to be addressed at the October 19 meeting, is the economic impacts and benefits of wetlands. We are well aware of the economic benefits of wetlands and the costs associated with their destruction. These things are not easily quantified, however, and we have been unsuccessful in obtaining hard figures to present to the Subcommittee. If you are aware of any potential reliable source for this type of information, please call Sandra Wilmore at (219) 879-3564 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
The final meeting will cover the Subcommittee’s recommendations regarding the rules, to be presented to the Water Pollution Control Board for a final determination.