Dear Editor,
State Senator Victoria Spartz is being accused of passing legislation that would drain all wetlands and was for the benefit of her family, the legislation that was passed earlier this year does neither of the two.
SB 229 was written to clarify that in non-federal jurisdiction wetlands, County Surveyors and Drainage Boards do not need to apply for redundant permitting from IDEM. This bill clarified that drainage tiles that have been in place for decades, and in many cases over a century, are able to be maintained in order to provide drainage for the public good, and at the lowest cost to the taxpayer.
Senator Spartz was instrumental in having discussion with both IDEM and County Surveyors to make sure that only existing drainage infrastructure was able to be maintained and/or replaced, and in the same location. This legislation does not apply to wetlands that are under federal jurisdiction, nor does it allow new drainage infrastructure in wetlands where it did not previously exist. This legislation also only applies to public drains maintained by Surveyors/Drainage Boards, not developers and individuals.
Jarrod Hahn, CFM
Wells County Surveyor
President of Indiana County Surveyors Association