Featured Topics

2018

Hazardous Waste Generator Improvement Rule Update

The Generator Improvement Rule notice was published in the Indiana Register on November 21, 2018. This includes amendments for incorporation by reference of recent United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) rules for hazardous waste generator improvements and import-export of hazardous waste, and technical amendments and corrections to existing hazardous waste requirements. The purpose of this notice is to seek public comment on the draft rule, including suggestions for specific language to be included in the rule. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management seeks comment on the affected citations listed (329 IAC 3.1) and any other provisions of Title 329 that may be affected by this rulemaking. All comments must be postmarked, faxed, or time stamped not later than December 21, 2018. Hand-delivered comments must be delivered to the appropriate office by 4:45 p.m. on the above-listed deadline date. The official publication in the Indiana Register, LSA Document #18-481 [PDF], provides additional information and the specific language of the proposed rule.

Update for the DC Circuit Court Rules on RCRA Definition of Solid Waste

The DC Circuit Court amended its ruling on March 6, 2018. EPA published a final rule to address the Court’s ruling on May 30, 2018. However, because of Indiana’s statute at IC 13-14-9-8(h) that automatically vacates state rules if the related federal rule is vacated, the impact on Indiana’s rule becomes more complicated. The vacated Definition of Solid Waste requirements for the provisions of 40 CFR 260.43(a)(4) and 40 CFR 261.4(a)(24) are removed from Indiana’s rules without being replaced with the May 30, 2018 rule language. As a result, off-site recycling (not within the same company) will be subject to full hazardous waste management requirements for the generator and receiving facility including, but not limited to, manifesting and RCRA Part B permit for the off-site recycling facility. This does not impact on-site recycling by generators or recycling within the same company, under the provisions of 40 CFR 261.4(a)(23).

U.S. Steel Consent Decree

The United States, together with the State of Indiana, announced that U. S. Steel Corporation (U. S. Steel) has agreed to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Water Act and Indiana law by undertaking substantial measures to improve its wastewater processing monitoring system at its steel manufacturing and finishing facility, known as the Midwest Plant, in Portage, Indiana.

Pollution Prevention Week September 16-22, 2018

To honor environmental achievements and spur the renewed commitment of business, industry, citizens, and government, Governor Eric J. Holcomb has issued a proclamation [PDF] designating September 16 to 22, 2018 as Pollution Prevention Week in Indiana. Indiana’s proclamation coincides with National Pollution Prevention Week, also observed the third week of September.

The week will feature the 21st Annual Indiana Pollution Prevention Conference and Trade Show. The conference is open to all public and private sectors who wish to exchange ideas, share experiences, and promote practices that help the environment. Presentations include discussions with industry leaders on sustainability, pollution prevention, and saving energy in manufacturing, as well as an interactive conference track that focuses on wastewater issues.

New organizations will be inducted into Partners for Pollution Prevention during the conference, and there will be a Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence presentation. The Governor’s Awards recognize Indiana's leaders who have implemented outstanding environmental strategies into their operations and decision-making processes. By seeking out and utilizing innovative environmental practices, these facilities and programs have reduced waste, saved money, and contributed greatly to Indiana's environmental protection efforts, benefiting the health and welfare of the state's communities and the state.

IDEM is at the Indiana State Fair

Visit the IDEM booth, located in the DNR building, at the Indiana State Fair. For the #IDEMStateFair ‘word of the day’, follow us on social media:

e-Manifest to Launch June 30, 2018

The U.S. EPA is establishing a national system for tracking hazardous waste shipments electronically. This system, known as “e-Manifest,” will modernize the nation’s cradle-to-grave hazardous waste tracking process while saving valuable time, resources, and dollars for industry and states. The U.S. EPA anticipates launching e-Manifest in June 2018.

2018 Grant Proposals

New Grant Round for the Recycling Market Development Program

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management announces the 2018 grant funding round for the Recycling Market Development Program. Eligible candidates may seek a grant starting at $1,000 and up to $500,000, with a 50 percent required match. Projects should focus on reuse, reduction, and recycling methods that result in an increase in recyclable material collection, a reduction in municipal solid waste shipped for final disposal and/or improved partnerships with communities, including not only economic impacts, but increased public awareness of recycling opportunities through tangible outreach and education efforts.

Deadline for submissions has been extended to June 22, 2018, by 5:00 PM (EDT). Projects should focus on increasing collection, as well as economic development, education, and outreach efforts. Detailed proposal requirements are available on the Recycling Market Development Program page.

Emergency Debris Management

IDEM is in contact and working with facilities across the state affected by recent flooding. Public health officials recommend avoiding contact with surface and flood waters during these times. Those who do come in contact with impacted surface and flood waters should shower or bathe with warm, soapy water. Veterinarians recommend not allowing pets and livestock to drink from or swim in waters visibly impacted by sewage overflows.

For additional information regarding health risks, please contact your local health department.

2017

IDEM Requests Public Input on Volkswagen Settlement Plan

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is asking the public to weigh in on the draft framework of the Volkswagen Settlement Plan that will use Indiana’s portion of the Volkswagen mitigation trust funds to offset the effects of diesel emissions across the state.

U.S. EPA Recognizes Indiana Department of Environmental Management for Achievements at Superfund Sites

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized the Indiana Department of Environmental Management with the State Excellence in Supporting Reuse award for achievements at three Superfund sites. IDEM was recognized for its efforts at the Continental Steel, Lake Sandy Jo (M&M Landfill), and Tippecanoe Sanitary Landfill Superfund sites.

Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) administrator signed the final Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements (HWGI) rule on October 28, 2016. It was published in the Federal Register on November 28, 2016, and it became effective federally on May 30, 2017.

The HWGI rule contains over 60 changes to the hazardous waste program, and IDEM proposes to adopt the entire rule without significant revisions. The U.S. EPA’s Final Rule: HWGI webpage has more information, guidance, and frequently asked questions about the rule.

Since Indiana is authorized for the RCRA program, the HWGI rule will not be effective until it is adopted as a state rule in Indiana. IDEM has initiated the process to adopt the rule, but does not expect it to be in place for several months. When the adoption process has started, you can view its progress on the Title 329 Rulemaking webpage. Send any questions about the HWGI rule to the IDEM OLQ regulatory reporting staff or the IDEM Compliance and Technical Assistance (CTAP) staff.

DC Circuit Court Rules on RCRA Definition of Solid Waste

On July 7, 2017, the D.C. Circuit Court ruled on challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory definition of solid waste (DSW) as amended in 2015. The court ruling addressed two major components of the DSW rule: the verified recycler exclusion was vacated, except for its emergency preparedness provisions and its expanded containment requirements, and the legitimacy criteria dubbed “factor 4” was vacated.

Indiana adopted the DSW rule effective November 5, 2016, and IDEM is evaluating the impact of this ruling to hazardous waste generators and treatment, storage, and disposal facilities. It appears that it currently affects a very small number of facilities. The current federal regulations remain in effect until the Court issues a final mandate. Parties to the court case have been given until October 21, 2017 to file motions regarding the ruling. Please email any questions to olqregulatoryreporting@idem.in.gov.

Indiana Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence

The Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence is Indiana’s highest environmental recognition and is open to all Indiana citizens and organizations.

Innovative and sustainable programs or projects eligible for award include, but are not limited to, those that are demonstrating exemplary environmental, economic, or social benefits achieved by innovative: green infrastructure; initiatives to reduce toxics use; pollution prevention; food waste reduction efforts, recycling and composting programs; “green tech” solutions; initiatives to "green" businesses, farms, schools, health care and hospitality facilities; clean energy projects; and education and training programs.

Submit your nominations to IDEM by no later than 5:00 PM. Friday, July 28, 2017.

Indiana 2018 Annual Ambient Air Monitoring Network Plan

This document details the current air quality monitoring network and proposed changes planned for 2018. The public has the opportunity to submit comments through the COB Wednesday, June 14, 2017.

Honoring Public Servants

May 7, 2017 - May 13, 2017

IDEM is proud to participate in Public Service Recognition Week to honor the men and women who serve our nation as federal, state, county, and local government employees, especially in our state of Indiana. Careers in public service, no matter at what level, help to better the lives of the Hoosiers and all Americans.

IDEM recognizes and commends its staff members for their energy and effort to protect Hoosiers and the environment.

Thank you for your service to the state and citizens of Indiana.

Recycling Market Development Program Announcement of Grant Funding Availability

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) announces grant funding for projects that increase recycling efforts through the Recycling Market Development Program (RMDP). Grant proposals will be accepted beginning March 1, 2017. The 2017 grant funding round will consider projects that increase education and collection efforts in reaching the state’s recycling goals. Grant funding requests may range from $1,000 up to $500,000, with a 50 percent required match. Deadline for proposals is May 10, 2017.

Additional information can be found on the Recycling Market Development Program page or Announcement of Grant Funding Availability [PDF].

Earth Day Classroom Presentations

In observance of Earth Day, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is offering free hands-on classroom presentations to Indiana elementary schools this April. IDEM employees across all disciplines volunteer to present fun, engaging, and informative presentations that provide students with examples of environmental careers while teaching them about our environment.

Additional information about the classroom presentations as well as registration is available on the Earth Day Celebration: Program Descriptions page. The deadline for schools to request presentations is March 3, 2017.

2016

Final Rule: Definition of Solid Waste (DSW)

On January 13, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) published a final rule with revisions to the definition of solid waste. The purpose of the rule is to encourage the reclamation of certain hazardous secondary materials, rather than disposing or incinerating them. Indiana has recently adopted the 2015 final rule with some revisions in 329 IAC 3.1 [PDF], and it became effective on November 5, 2016.By adopting the July 1, 2015 version of 40 CFR 260 - 270 & 273, IDEM is adopting the requirements in the 2015 final rule, including any amendment or deletions made to the requirements in the 2008 final rule. For more information, visit the Final Rule: 2015 DSW page on the U.S. EPA’s website.

If you have any questions, send an email to olqregulatoryreporting@idem.in.gov.

IDEM Access Management

Beginning September 29, 2016, all IDEM visitors to the Indiana Government Center North (IGCN) must take the east elevators to the 13th floor and check-in with the receptionist to gain access to IDEM’s central office. For your convenience, the security and information personnel located at the ground floor IGCN public entrance will provide directions on how to access IDEM floors 10-13.

IDEM is providing safety and security to its staff and visitors while continuing to maintain public access. Please call IDEM’s main office number with questions: (317) 232-8604.

Positions Available with IDEM

IDEM currently has a number of key contract positions available from the Office of Land Quality. These positions, filled by KnowledgeServices, include exciting opportunities in the Voluntary Remediation Program, the Underground Storage Tank Program, the State Cleanup Program, and the Regulatory Reporting Program, as well as positions in the Geological Services and Geology Sections.

Amended Indiana 2017 Annual Ambient Air Monitoring Network Plan

The "PAMS Ozone Precursors (VOC)" section (pages 62–65) of the Indiana 2017 Annual Ambient Air Monitoring Network Plan needed to be changed to reflect the discontinuation of PAMS monitoring at Gary – IITRI. The public has the opportunity to submit comments on this change through the COB Monday, October 10, 2016.

Announcement Of Grant Funding Availability

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is announcing grant funding availability through the Recycling Market Development Program (RMDP). Eligible candidates may seek a grant starting at $1,000 and up to $500,000, with a 50 percent required match. The Recycling Market Development Board determines final funding approval.

The deadline for submission of proposals is noon Eastern Time, Monday, October 17, 2016. Detailed proposal requirements are available on the Recycling Market Development Program page.

Riverside National Priorities List

IDEM has prepared an alternative proposed plan for the Riverside Ground Water Contamination site.

IDEM seeking proposals to reduce toxins in Great Lakes basin

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is soliciting project proposals under the Great Lakes Air Deposition (GLAD) program. GLAD is a program set up to address the deposition of toxic pollutants, as well as understand how these pollutants adversely affect both human and ecosystem health within the Great Lakes basin.

In the past, GLAD, under the efforts of the Great Lake Commissions (GLC) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), has supported more than 35 projects that identify, quantify, and reduce the sources, environmental transport process, deposition rates and impacts of toxic pollutants in the Great Lakes region. The GLAD program places a large emphasis on promoting scientific efforts that will increase the ability to manage this complicated but urgent environmental issue.

The available funding for the current year of the GLAD program is approximately $90,000. Successful applicants will be invited to enter into a grant agreement with IDEM to perform the work described within their proposal. Choices will be based on the selection criteria identified in Attachment A of the solicitation. IDEM anticipates funding one to two projects, depending on the scope of work and cost per proposal. The deadline for proposals is August 10, 2016.

Indiana 2017 Annual Ambient Air Monitoring Network Plan

This document details the current air quality monitoring network and proposed changes planned for 2017. The public has the opportunity to submit comments through the COB Friday, June 17, 2016.

IDEM’s Office of Land Quality Announces New Technical Review Panel for VRP and State Cleanup Program Technical Disputes

IDEM has developed a mechanism for settling technical disagreements called the Technical Review Panel. The goal is to enable remediation sites to move forward in a timely manner and to provide external entities a forum outside the OLQ to help resolve technical disputes with the VRP and State Cleanup Program project managers. The IDEM Land Quality in Indiana: Technical Review Panel page provides additional information about this pilot program.

Indiana Department of Environmental Management seeking Public Comments on its Draft 2016 303(d) List of Impaired Water

IDEM will be accepting public comments on its draft 2016 303(d) List of Impaired Waters and the Consolidated Assessment and Listing Methodology used to develop it through July 5, 2016. IDEM is also seeking public input on its draft assessment methodology for surface waters that serve as a source for public water supplies, which is included in the notice of comment period, which is available online.

The States' View of the Air

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) has released The States’ View of the Air (2016) report. This report highlights the air quality in counties and cities in the United States. Like a report card, IDEM has graded areas on the state of their air quality under the federal standards for ozone and fine particles.

January is U.S. EPA National Radon Action Month

Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas. You can’t see radon. And you can’t smell it or taste it. But it may be a problem in your home. Radon comes from the natural (radioactive) breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe. Radon can be found all over Indiana. It can get into any type of building—homes, offices, and schools—and result in a high indoor radon level. But you and your family are most likely to get your greatest exposure at home, where you spend most of your time.

U.S. EPA recommends that you:

  1. Test your home for radon—it’s easy and inexpensive; and
  2. Fix your home if your radon level is 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) or higher.

Radon levels less than 4 pCi/L still pose a risk, and in many cases may be reduced as well.