IDEM claims that converting to e-notices "will enable permitting authorities to communicate permitting and other affected actions to the public more quickly and efficiently."
It also would save an estimated $17,000 a year by eliminating advertising costs in local newspapers across Indiana, according to IDEM.
Steve Key, executive director of the Hoosier State Press Association, said surveys show a strong majority of Hoosiers read public notice advertising in their newspapers, and 85 percent favor government continuing to publish public notices in newspapers.
He said public notice ads are an independent check on government action — archivable, verifiable and accessible to all segments of society.
"Most people don't know when annual financial reports for local government are published, or tax rate charts or school performance reports, but they find this information while reading their newspaper," Key said.
"Hoosiers aren't going to routinely check multiple government websites on a weekly basis to see whether anything has been posted that will directly impact or interest them."
Supporters and opponents of IDEM's proposed change to electronic notice for air pollution permits can submit comments to the agency through Oct. 6 by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The agency will consider the public comments it receives in deciding whether to move forward with its plan.