A handful of Monroe County residents spoke out against a bridge construction permit application during a public hearing held Tuesday by the Department of Natural Resources Division of Water. The proposed construction would cross Interstate 69 across an unnamed tributary of Clear Creek.
Hoosier Environmental Council Senior Policy Director Tim Maloney says not enough research has gone into the effects on the surrounding land.
“There are literally no plans yet for controlling the highway run off and the drainage that will end up in the sink holes or the caves or the sinking stream and affect the water quality of that system,” he says.
Maloney says control and mitigation practices for karst drainage to limit or avoid the impacts of highway runoff are required by an agreement between the State of Indiana and regulatory agencies like the DNR. He says the Hoosier Environmental Council plans to submit a report based on research conducted by a Karst expert who works for them.
Five other members of the public spoke out against the permit application and the construction of I-69. No one spoke in support of the proposed construction.
Division of Water Environmental Manager Lacey Duncan says all public comment will be drafted into a hearing memo which will then be sent to engineers and biologists who will continue to review the study. Duncan says action should be taken in around three to six months.