Kids talk clean water, air at Indiana Statehouse

Parents and children are asking Indiana lawmakers to do more to ensure clean air and water in the state.

By Veronica Carter

State lawmakers are still mulling over a bill that would give the federal government more power over environmental rules and standards in Indiana.

The Hoosier Environmental Council has been fighting it and on Monday invited parents and students to the Statehouse to help convince lawmakers that children need protection.

Shannon Anderson is a mom, and member of Earth Charter Indiana. She says what's happening with the highly-publicized lead contamination issue in Michigan, and just recently in a school district in Greentown, Ind., can be seen as examples of why the legislation won't work.

"We see crises erupting, not just in Flint, Michigan, but at the school near Kokomo," says Anderson. "We're frustrated with this ignorance that pretends that we're doing an 'OK' job, when we know we're not."

Excess lead was found in the water at Eastern Howard County High School this month. House Bill 1082 would keep state regulators from adopting laws any stricter than what the federal government already has in place.

Its supporters say it would create consistency in environmental rules, and bring Indiana in line with legislation other states have already put in place.

Anderson says she and other parents want to know their children are drinking safe water and breathing clean air.

"I'm breathing the air, we all breathe the air," says Anderson. "We count on the air being healthy, and when Indiana continually ranks top in dirty air in the country, we know we're not doing a good enough job in writing sensible public policy for air."

The House has approved the bill and it's now being considered in a Senate committee.