Bill to ease permitting process and increase efficiency signed into law

March 25, 2020 – A bill authored by State Sen. Victoria Spartz (R-Noblesville), which clarifies existing statutes waiving the Indiana Department of Environmental Management permit requirements for local surveyors to deal with drainage issues in a prompt and efficient manner, was signed into law by Gov. Eric Holcomb.

Many drainage tiles were installed over 100 years ago and the issue of tile breakage is becoming more and more prevalent. Senate Bill 229 clarifies standing law and practices of the local jurisdiction for surveyors to fix issues within regulating drains. Any delays and power struggles between agencies create unnecessary costs, redundancy, inefficiencies and ultimately burdens to the taxpayers.

“There are still plenty of state and federal regulations on the books dealing with wetlands, but even the federal government under the Clean Water Act exempts maintenance of drainage ditches from permitting. The misapplication of the statutes by the IDEM is costing thousands of dollars to local communities, like Hamilton County, which is an unnecessary and burdensome power grab by the state agency,” Spartz said. “This bill benefits not just local government, landowners and farmers, but all taxpayers, since all bureaucracy costs are ultimately passed on to all taxpayers.”