Sports and Outdoors

Friday, April 3, 2009

DNR extends emergency flood relief rule

Indiana DNR Release:

DNR director Robert E. Carter Jr. has extended for another year an emergency rule that temporarily suspends permit requirements for certain construction activities and debris removal caused by flooding.
The original rule was issued last summer in the wake of extreme flooding in southern Indiana but was extended several times to aid flood-damaged counties.

The latest extension, which takes effect April 6 and expires March 31, 2010, was reauthorized for two reasons.

One is to allow time for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, a federal program, to complete dozens of flood-related projects it began under its Emergency Watershed Protection program. The other reason is to provide the DNR an opportunity to review and evaluate current rules to determine if changes are needed.

Under normal conditions, the construction activities and debris removal addressed by the emergency rule would require a permit under Indiana Code 14-28-1. The reauthorized emergency rule provides an exemption to that permit requirement for the following types of projects:

Reconstruction of bridges and culvert crossings damaged by floodwaters;
Removal of logjams and debris from the channel of a waterway;
Stabilization and repair of stream banks eroded by floodwaters.
Scenic Rivers and salmonid streams are not covered by this temporary rule, but projects can be authorized with additional review. Some of these projects also may require authorization from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, and possibly both.

Some conditions apply under this order in regard to the equipment and methods used in reconstruction, debris removal and stabilization. For example, replacement bridges or culvert crossings must be at least the same size and as effective as before the flood damage occurred; appropriate control measures must be installed to prevent the flow of sediment-laden water into the waterway; and certain plants may not be used for re-vegetation.
The original emergency rule was issued June 11, 2008, for 29 counties in southern Indiana. Extensions were authorized in July and August 2008, to add 21 more flood-damaged counties before it was extended statewide in October 2008. That final extension expired March 31.

A complete list of emergency rule guidelines is available at (click on the link marked Emergency Rule-Flood Extension or the link marked Logjam FAQs).

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