New Legislation to Protect Indiana's Water Resources

Nomad

Well-known member
Aug 26, 2023
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State Senator Spencer Deery has proposed a bill that tries to address concerns over the plans to move a substantial amount of water from Tippecanoe County for an industrial project in Lebanon. The bill suggests that there should be a permitting process for withdrawing more than ten million gallons per day and also set maximum limits for withdrawals. The bill also proposes that a feasibility study be carried out to evaluate environmental and community impacts. The legislation protects small users, like residential wells, and larger users such as farmers with wells.

You can read more here.
 
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Indiana, United States
The industrial project the article's referring to is called the Limitless Expansion/Advanced Pace (LEAP) project. As discussed here, the project would attract "companies in the advanced manufacturing, research and development, life sciences, technology, and microelectronics and semiconductor industries" and is expected to be an economic boon to Indiana's economy. I get the impression that Tippecanoe residents generally support the project...the problem is more that they're dissatisfied with a state-level approval process that they don't feel is adequately thorough/transparent. As mentioned in @Nomad's article, the proposed legislation wouldn't prohibit large withdrawals, but would "require that any large withdrawals for a commercial or industrial purpose would have to be studied - with notice of a permit application going to regional officials." So the opposition isn't trying to kill the project, just reform the process to require that these types of projects be shown to be in everyone's best interest before they can proceed.

When large decisions with large impacts, like withdrawing 100 million gallons per day for the LEAP site, are made without community feedback, it makes sense that community members' first instinct is to react negatively. I agree that the proposed permit process sounds like a good way to remedy the issue by democratizing and increasing the information requirements for projects involving large water withdrawals. A big downside, of course, is that permit processes like what's being called for can add a significant amount of delay and bureaucratic red tape. If Indiana succeeds in establishing a new permit process, hopefully they're smart about it in terms of making sure it's not too complex and includes time limits for state action, etc. (i.e., I hope they take a measured/cautious approach).
 
I'm fine with them requiring permits to do this, it makes perfect sense to do it. If you're draining 10M gallons of water a day, I think it's fair to require some form of a permit or license to do so.

The industrial project the article's referring to is called the Limitless Expansion/Advanced Pace (LEAP) project. As discussed here, the project would attract "companies in the advanced manufacturing, research and development, life sciences, technology, and microelectronics and semiconductor industries" and is expected to be an economic boon to Indiana's economy. I get the impression that Tippecanoe residents generally support the project...the problem is more that they're dissatisfied with a state-level approval process that they don't feel is adequately thorough/transparent. As mentioned in @Nomad's article, the proposed legislation wouldn't prohibit large withdrawals, but would "require that any large withdrawals for a commercial or industrial purpose would have to be studied - with notice of a permit application going to regional officials." So the opposition isn't trying to kill the project, just reform the process to require that these types of projects be shown to be in everyone's best interest before they can proceed.

When large decisions with large impacts, like withdrawing 100 million gallons per day for the LEAP site, are made without community feedback, it makes sense that community members' first instinct is to react negatively. I agree that the proposed permit process sounds like a good way to remedy the issue by democratizing and increasing the information requirements for projects involving large water withdrawals. A big downside, of course, is that permit processes like what's being called for can add a significant amount of delay and bureaucratic red tape. If Indiana succeeds in establishing a new permit process, hopefully they're smart about it in terms of making sure it's not too complex and includes time limits for state action, etc. (i.e., I hope they take a measured/cautious approach).
What does it mean by "Studied", like the water is drained, tested and if it's fine, it's sent over to Lebanon?

And yeah I imagine the permitting process might slow things down, but I think that's just how permitting works, it always slows things down a bit. :D
 

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