A legislative study committee focused on Indiana’s environmental issues declined to recommend any policy changes to the General Assembly Wednesday. The panel’s final hearing focused on problems related to the access and affordability of drinking water.
Despite the final report’s lack of recommendations, Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso) says it does include a lot to, in his words, “mull over.”
One problem is the burden faced by small water and wastewater utilities in finding qualified workers. Another problem, says Charbonneau, is the lack of drinking water supply in southern Indiana.
“And it’s not so much they don’t have water,” he says. “It’s where it’s located and where it’s needed and the massive construction that would be involved in getting it to those places.”
The Indiana Finance Authority is studying water availability in southern Indiana, it will have a final report out in December.
As far as major spending on water infrastructure, Charbonneau says anything that might happen has to wait until 2019, when the General Assembly writes the state’s new two-year budget.