Sierran Masthead

Ground Water Task Force Update

by John Ulmer
Chapter Conservation Chair

We have a new ground water rule for the state, after many years of deliberation, awkward hearings before the Water Pollution Control Board, and state senators weighing into the fray. What next?

Well Indiana’s ground water won’t be protected, let alone improve, until the new rule is implemented through the many state regulatory agencies charged with enforcing it. The Ground Water Task Force met in October to define this implementation process. The process includes identifying who (which agency) and what (which rule) is of concern, reviewing data (there is no statewide system for monitoring ambient ground water), and then seeing if a new rule is needed and if the agency has the regulatory authority to make a rule. Finally, the process includes applying the rule to meet the new standards and seeing if it works.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management alone has more than 20 rules that are affected. Other state agencies are still looking to see how full their plates are. The above, coupled with new federal drinking water standards that are in the offing, makes this quite a task.

Facing all of this, the task force decided to skip the last meeting of the year and pick up again on Jan. 18 to begin thinking about it. Not an auspicious start to a rule no one was really satisfied with. The environmental representative who was cochair of the task force previously resigned in protest of the rule’s content and has not been replaced.

Copyright © 2007 Hoosier Chapter Sierra Club, all rights reserved.[7/20/02]efp

Winter 2001-2002