-- The head of the Environmental Protection Agency has discussed a federal
water rule with Indiana officials, but environmental groups say they weren’t
included in the conversation.
Scott Pruitt met
with Gov. Eric Holcomb, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and other state officials
this week to discuss the federal Clean Water Rule, The Indianapolis Star
reported. Pruitt also met with agriculture and business leaders at Mike
Starkey Farms and Liberty Mine in Boonville.
Officials from the
Hoosier Environmental Council, the Nature Conservancy’s Indiana Chapter, the
Sierra Club’s Hoosier Chapter, Citizens Action Coalition, Conservation Law
Center and the Indiana Water Environmental Association said they weren’t
informed of Pruitt’s visit.
should be inclusive with all affected and interested stakeholders at the
table -- that’s the only way to ensure the public interest is being
addressed,” said Kerwin Olson, director of the Citizens Action Coalition.
The groups said
they wished Pruitt had tried to get their viewpoint on the law.
just came into town and met with the governor and left, but that’s about all
we know,” said Tim Maloney, senior policy director for the Hoosier
Environmental Council. “It would be unfortunate if he just came here looking
for support for that effort and hearing those viewpoints and not hearing
other viewpoints on why the Clean Water Rule is a good one.”
The federal rule
aims to protect the small tributaries of larger waterways. Some agriculture
and business leaders have said it burdens their industries.
industry should not be burdened with unnecessary government overreach,”
Pruitt said in a statement Wednesday. “By beginning the process to redefine
WOTUS (the Waters of the United States rule) we are prioritizing clean water
across the country, while also respecting states’ traditional regulatory
role over their own waters and providing much-needed certainty to farmers