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Indiana Preparing for Consolidated Rulemaking Board

09.21.2012

By Jennifer Kahney Thompson, Attorney, Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP

Pursuant to IC 13-13-8 the Indiana Air Pollution Control Board (APCB), Solid Waste Management Board, and Water Pollution Control Board will all be abolished effective January 1, 2013.  A new consolidated Environmental Rules Board will be established and will become effective on that same day.

The current boards are trying to wrap up the rulemakings they have started because it is unclear when the new consolidated Environmental Rules Board will actually be ready to approve rulemaking actions.  The new board members are to be appointed by December 31, 2012; however, because this is an election year, appointments most likely will not be made until sometime after November 6, 2012.  All current board members have been asked to contact IDEM if they are interested in being considered for the new Environmental Rules Board.

While the identity of the new board members is unknown, IDEM staff are currently addressing administrative issues surrounding the consolidated board, planning when it should meet, considering consolidation of IDEM’s rule writing sections, and planning orientation training for the new board members.  Because all three existing environmental boards conduct business in slightly different manners, the consolidation process presents IDEM and the new board with the opportunity to adopt the best practices of the old boards.  Additionally, IDEM will need to conduct more long-term planning for rulemaking actions to ensure that all essential rulemakings are completed in the necessary timeframes.

Since the new board members do not have to be named until the end of the year, it is likely that the first Environmental Rule Board meeting will not be held until February 2013.  IDEM expects that the first meeting will be an informational meeting, with introductions to each of the air, water, and waste programs, and a discussion of IDEM’s long-term rulemaking plans.  However, the new board may have to address an emergency air rule at its first meeting as well.  LSA #12-467, Ozone Designations Emergency Rule, which adopts the federal nonattainment designation for part of Dearborn County including Lawrenceburg Township, Lake County, and Porter County for the 2008 8-hour ozone standard is expected to be re-adopted at the November 7, 2012 APCB Meeting, which means it will expire in February without further action.

To view a complete PDF of the July/August 2012 issue of the Environmental Letter, click HERE.

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