Indiana business leaders support higher pollution permit fee

Indiana’s environmental agency is set to increase the cost of state permits that set limits for pollution discharges for the first time in decades, and the move has the rare support of business leaders.

The Indianapolis Business Journal reports that Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a bill into law this month allowing the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to raise permit fees after an extensive rulemaking process. The measure is supported by business groups, including the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

Bill advocates say the current fees are a bargain compared with neighboring states and that the permitting system is losing money.

If it continues, backers worry the state might cut workers at IDEM. That would slow the permitting process substantially, postponing projects across a range of industries.