The anti-wetlands bill, SEA 389, was signed into law on April 29, 2021.  Please read the statement jointly issued by several organizations.

This table compares different versions of the bill as it went through the process.

 Senate version SB 389House Committee version of SB 389Final Version of SEA 389
Indiana Wetlands LawRepealsModifiesModifies
Class I wetlandsRemoves protectionLeaves current law intactRemoves protection
Class II wetlandsRemoves protectionLeaves current law intactReduces protection
Class III wetlandsRemoves protectionLeaves current law intactLeaves current law intact
Cumulative impactRemoves requirementsLeaves current law intactReduces requirements
Ephemeral streamsNo changeLeaves current law intactRemoves protection
Compensatory mitigationRemoves requirementsModerately reduces requirementsSignificantly reduces requirements
Wetlands that exist “only because of an ephemeral stream”Removes protectionRemoves protectionRemoves protection
Development of cropland with wetlandNo restrictionsIf used for agriculture in the last 10 yearsIf used for agriculture in the last 10 years
Maintain a field tile within a wetlandNo restrictionsWith a permit if it does not drain the wetlandWith a permit if it does not drain the wetland
IDEM’s time to issue a wetland permitNot applicableReduces from 120 to 90 daysReduces from 120 to 90 days
Statement that the goal is “a net gain in high quality wetlands”EliminatesEliminatesEliminates

In the 1980s, it was estimated that only 15% of Indiana’s original wetlands were left. In 2003, the legislature recognized the value of preserving the remaining wetlands and wrote the state wetlands law.

Wetlands a.) provide critical wildlife habitat, b.) absorb large quantities of water which reduces flood risk, c.) recharge groundwater, and d.) purify water as detailed in this recording of the Feb 24 wetlands symposium, The Value of All Wetlands: Indiana Researchers Weigh In.

See a recording of the Feb 24 policy forum, Wetland Protection in Indiana: The Way Forward or the 10-minute synopsis on SB 389 from the forum.

Please also read:



Find articles covering Senate Bill 389 below and share them with your legislator! – Op-Ed by Jesse Kharbanda, HEC’s E.D. – Letter to the Editor by Jim Sweeney

Op-ed by former state Senator Beverly Gard, who now chairs the Indiana Environmental Rules Board

Op-ed by Senator Garten in favor of repealing Indiana’s wetlands law

Op-ed by Indiana University faculty

The wetland violation that led to SB 389

April 7, 2021 Star coverage of House committee amendment

April 7, 2021 The Times of Northwest Indiana coverage of House committee amendment