How a proposed Senate Bill could impact wetlands in Indiana

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — A bill at the Indiana Statehouse about wetland preservation has been heavily discussed. This proposed bill would repeal the state’s wetland laws in place.

If passed, wetlands not under certain guidelines or protections could be impacted. According to Naturalist with the Dobbs Nature Park Center, Carissa Lovett, even if a wetland is built on or a loss, there’s a chance it could be restored.

“We can gain them back once they’re gone, which is good that we can reclaim them. But, they’re probably never as good as they used to be because we can’t recreate that. But, we can do that, but I’ve heard we’ve lost eighty percent of wetlands in our area,” Lovett said.

Lovett said wetlands across the state have been decreasing over the last centuries.

Under Senate Bill 389, it would repeal the state wetland laws requiring a permit for wetland activity in a state regulated area. Wetlands under certain protections, such as the federal Clean Water Act would not be impacted.

“Those are important too. Often times a lot of times they are femoral, the salamanders and frogs that depend on those that may be the only femoral wetland in the are they have to breathe. We may lose populations amphibious species,” Lovett said.

State Representative Tonya Pfaff is not in favor of this bill, she says the impact could be detrimental.

” To me, it’s about quality of life and quality of place, and enjoying our beautiful outdoors. So, I think Indiana, all over Indiana, people enjoy what we have and I think it’s important to keep. Again, we’re down to four percent, I think it’s important to keep what we have and not destroy them any further,” Pfaff said

Senator Jon Ford in favor of this bill at one of the last last cracker-barrel sessions. To hear what he said, clink the link below.

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