[r44] Rep. Baird protects Putnam County's hazardous waste disposal funds (3/21/2014)

Friday, March 21, 2014 7:00 pm

Start Date:  3/21/2014  All Day  
End Date:  3/21/2014    

Since 2010, I have had the privilege of representing the greatest community in Indiana. As a lifelong resident of House District 44, I enjoy seeing the warm and familiar faces as I drive down the roads of Putnam County. People here wave to one another, neighbors help each other shovel driveways, and it is that togetherness that makes our community so great.

Every year during the legislative session, which recently concluded, we have the opportunity to make our community an even better place to live, work and raise a family. Unlike the federal government, members of the Indiana General Assembly put their differences aside and work together to improve our community and state as well as protect the rights of the individuals we represent.

For instance, originally, a bill was drafted that threatened dollars going to Putnam County’s hazardous waste disposal revenue. In the entire state, there are only two facilities capable of disposing of hazardous waste and one is located in my district; the other located in Porter County.

Disposing of hazardous materials is a very challenging and complex task. It must be done so carefully and with the necessary equipment to ensure that the waste is disposed of appropriately. This requires adequate funding to ensure that individuals working with these potentially harmful materials are protected and trained properly.

For every ton of taxable hazardous waste that is disposed of in Indiana, $11.50 is collected by the Department of Revenue and distributed to either the state’s Hazardous Substances Response Trust Fund or the prospective counties. Revenue collected in the trust fund can be used for various items like training first responders to react to leaks or for necessary supplies to list a few. Since there are two waste disposal facilities in the state, Porter and Putnam counties receive a portion of these funds for hosting the sites.

In 2013, the trust fund generated close to $900,000 in which roughly $283,000 went to Putnam County. In a bipartisan effort, my colleague and I worked to propose an amendment to this bill, protecting this vital funding source for these counties. With the amendment, the bill passed and the funding source was protected.

As your representative and lifelong resident of West Central Indiana, I take the issues that impact our community very seriously, and we need to work together in order to improve it. If you have any questions, comments or concerns about how changes made during this legislative session will impact you and your family, please email me at h44@iga.in.gov or call 317-232-9671. You can visit www.in.gov/legislative for additional information about the different bills that passed the Indiana General Assembly as well.

I look forward to hearing from you and addressing any concerns that you may have.


Rep. Baird - Protecting Putnam County’s hazardous waste disposal funds.docx