The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) announced plans earlier this year to cease publishing notices in the newspapers. Instead the department would publish on a website as of December 1.
Among the reasons given were that no one reads those announcements in the newspaper and it is expensive to place the announcements. There often are accompanying claims about the money that buys the public notice ads — said to be a nothing more than a subsidy to private industry — could be better spent elsewhere in the agency.
Someone must be reading the newspaper. Eighteen activist groups responded to the announcement by urging reconsideration of the new policy. As reported by Associated Press, a joint statement of these groups said that the new plan “will inadequately serve the public’s interest.”
The IDEM said it would mail postcards to those who want notification of hearings and other public business. Postcards…now there is modern solution that calls on the nearly bankrupt U.S. postal service to receive a subsidy from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to keep us informed of time-sensitive government business.