Wetlands deregulation bill advances to Indiana governor

Regional News

(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Lawmakers gave final approval Wednesday to a disputed bill seeking to remove protections from Indiana’s already diminished wetlands amid mounting criticism that the legislation could cause damage to the state’s waterways, wildlife and vegetation.

The measure, which has sparked bipartisan opposition within the Republican-dominated Legislature, would eliminate a 2003 law requiring state regulators to issue permits for activity in wetlands areas and end enforcement proceedings against landowners allegedly violating current law.

The Indiana Senate voted Wednesday to send the bill to Gov. Eric Holcomb, who earlier said it was cause for “concern.” The bill’s advance came one day after the death of a contested renewable energy bill meant to set standards for wind and solar projects.

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