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In our March 19th communication, we attached a summary overview of the 2024 Indiana Legislative Session. We want to bring to your attention the summary and the description of SEA 216, which discusses that the new law will require OISC to have “reasonable suspicion” to conduct an inspection.

Reasonable Suspicion – The Indiana Office of the State Chemist (OISC) must have reasonable suspicion to enter private or public property at a reasonable time for an inspection.”

We have since learned that OISC cannot implement the provisions as written without risking the state’s compliance with OISC’s primacy agreement with the EPA.

Primacy allows the OISC to regulate pesticides according to state law; without it, the EPA would regulate pesticides under federal law—including stricter regulations and penalties.

Indiana must maintain adequate laws, procedures, record-keeping, and certification as part of the primacy agreement. According to the EPA, these include inspections initiated by a complaint or tip and those conducted randomly.

For this reason, OISC must be narrow in its interpretation and will require “reasonable suspicion” for inspections prompted by a tip or complaint.

This year, our legislative goal was to retain professional standards within the industry, which we successfully did. In addition, we sought to ensure that our regulator, whomever that may be, regulates our industry fairly and consistently. In addition to reasonable suspicion, the industry will benefit from the new law, which allows ten days to provide documents requested by OISC, limitations on the acceptable amounts of fines in some cases, direct fines toward operators, on-sight options for technician training, allows technicians to be trained, certified, and work in the field on the same day, and enhanced transparency throughout the enforcement process.

The conflict between state and federal law is disappointing but hardly a setback. Our industry is on better legal footing with regulators—no matter who that may be, they must treat us fairly and as professional businesses.

A Unified Voice Representing Every Facet of the Outdoor Management Industry.

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