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Charbonneau: Gov. Holcomb Signs Water Infrastructure Legislation

STATEHOUSE (July 12, 2017) — Several water-related bills authored and sponsored by State Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso) were ceremonially signed into law today by Gov. Eric Holcomb.

“We cannot take our state’s water resources for granted,” Charbonneau said. “These laws will help us move forward in developing a long-term plan for safe, clean water for Indiana. I am pleased to see Governor Holcomb sign these three bills into law, and look forward to continuing the discussion and evaluation of this precious natural resource.”

Senate Enrolled Act 416, authored by Charbonneau, establishes the Infrastructure Assistance Fund to provide grants, loans, and other financial assistance for the planning, acquisition, construction, renovation and expansion of public water systems.

This bill requires the Indiana Finance Authority (IFA) to study the ability of Indiana utilities to provide safe and clean drinking water and would require the Indiana Environmental Rules Board to adopt rules to carry out the intent of the law concerning the safety of the public water supply. It would also add a testing requirement when a water system’s collection point is being relocated, which could help prevent a crisis situation similar to what occurred in Flint, Michigan.

House Enrolled Act 1211, sponsored by Charbonneau, establishes the Transborder Water Resources Authority as a body consisting of four members of the General Assembly, four ex officio members and four individuals appointed by the governor. This bill requires the Authority to:

  • Study the subject of ownership rights in one or more transborder water resources shared by Indiana and other states;
  • Explore the possibility of entering into interstate compacts with other states concerning the fair use of transborder water resources shared by Indiana and other states;
  • Make recommendations concerning the content of any such interstate compact; and
  • Provide a forum for the discussion, study, evaluation and management of the transborder water resources.

House Enrolled Act 1519, also sponsored by Charbonneau, provides communities and water and wastewater utilities with responsive regulatory options. Those options will enable the utilities to address critical long-term water supply needs, spur economic growth, address public health concerns related to lead pipes and establish programs for low-income customers.

This bill requires the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) to approve a utility’s plan if it is reasonable and prudent for the provision of safe and reliable service.