House Bill 1266 outlines new rules about regulating construction activity water runoff

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Some environmentalists and county officials have expressed concern about House Bill 1266 that would strip local governments of their ability to regulate water runoff resulting from construction activity, Indiana Public Media reports.

The proposed law would prevent local authorities from implementing stricter regulations than those laid out by the state environmental rules board.

Jill Hoffman, executive director of the White River Alliance, an organization that works to protect water resources, told IPM that locals often have more information to help them make decisions about runoff.

“Our watersheds are not the same, the soils, the slopes, the flow, all of that requires the difference, and why we have more stringent rules in certain places,” Hoffman said.

The rule would also require counties or cities to make a preliminary decision about the runoff plan within 48 hours after a construction company submits it.

Lawmakers expressed a willingness to alter that provision.

The bill would also require individuals making determinations about runoff on a site to be a registered civil engineer, registered architect, registered surveyor, or someone working under direct supervision of one of those professionals.

Some county officials worry that provision could be prohibitively expensive.

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