The Indiana Department of Environmental Management will play a larger future role in the disposal and transportation of chemical munitions after House Bill 1059 passed to the Senate.
Rep. Andy Thomas (R-Brazil) is co-author of the legislation which establishes new standards for the destruction or treatment of chemical munitions. IDEM will then be required to implement an inspection and oversight protocol to ensure enforcement at each hazardous waste facility. HB 1059 passed out of the house unanimously by a 96-0 vote.
"There must be a procedure for all contingencies when we are dealing with such hazardous materials," said Rep. Thomas. "This will simply help us take some extra precautions by having IDEM oversight."
Effective upon passage, HB 1059 will also require anyone who is planning to move munitions or waste from munitions facilities to file with IDEM and report a transport risk analysis and a transport safety plan. There will be a $200 per transport fee that will be split between the county and the state.
The transport risk analysis includes the type of waste, different types of accidents that could take place, and the magnitude of potential harm. The analysis will be required to be understood by both the scientific and the public community. There will also be appropriate procedures in place for a medical response, environmental response, security response, or an evacuation of the area.
"I am pleased that we have been able to work together and create such an important bill that can hopefully raise the safety measures of these toxic supplies," said Rep. Thomas "This is something that is very important to the western part of the state."