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Indiana Department of Environmental Management

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Chapter 1: Table of Contents

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Chapter 1 - Section II: IDEM's Major Offices

Office of Air Quality

Quick View:

  • Mission: To assure protective air quality standards
  • Staffing/Budget: The Office of Air Quality has an annual budget of approximately $46 million, which serves six major programs and over 200 staff members. Key programs include Clean Air Act Planning and Monitoring, the Federal Title V Program and Lead Accreditation.
  • Major Focus of Office:
    1. Federal Clean Air Act - OAQ develops rules, writes permits, monitors air quality, and inspects facilities according to the standards in the Federal Clean Air Act.
    2. Air Quality Monitoring – States maintain and operate air monitors to gather real-world data for pollutants in the air.
    3. National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) - States are required to work towards meeting the U.S. EPA standards for six criteria air pollutants.
    4. Permitting - If your business creates emissions or may affect air quality, a permit or registration may be required.
    5. Compliance & Enforcement - IDEM uses compliance inspections, assistance, and other compliance activities including enforcement to bring facilities with environmental problems into compliance with the law.
    6. Open Burning – Open burning is banned across the state, although there are exceptions for burning vegetation from farms, burning cleaned buildings during fire training, and to maintain wildlife habitats on DNR and National Park Service properties.
    7. Asbestos – Most Indiana facilities must be inspected by an Indiana licensed asbestos inspector prior to starting demolition or renovation activities.
  • Education/Outreach:
    1. Voluntary Idling Program - A voluntary program designed to reduce vehicle emissions.
    2. Smog Watch - An online tool that provides daily air quality forecasts.
    3. Air Quality Outreach Campaigns - public awareness campaigns to educate Indiana residents and businesses about steps they can take to improve local air quality.

Mission

The Office of Air Quality’s (OAQ) mission is to assure all Hoosiers’ ambient air quality meets the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, provide timely air permits that protect air quality without unnecessary requirements, and to verify compliance with applicable state and federal air pollution laws and regulations.

OAQ develops plans with details how Indiana will comply with federal Clean Air Act requirements. OAQ develops and issues construction and operation permits to more than 1000 businesses; monitors air quality and compares it to federal standards; conducts compliance activities; oversees vehicle emissions testing in Lake and Porter counties; inspects asbestos abatements, and regulates hazardous air pollutants.

Air Quality Monitoring

States are required to monitor the ambient air quality and compare the real-world data to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) set by U.S. EPA. IDEM’s Office of Air Quality maintains the monitoring network, collects data, and processes the physical data from each monitor.

IDEM re-evaluates the monitoring network every year to make sure the quantity and location of the monitors is appropriate for Indiana’s needs. Citizens have the opportunity to submit comments before IDEM sends the network recommendations to U.S. EPA. Many of the air monitors are able to upload data to the Internet, where it is accessible to the public. The agency forecasts future air quality based on the monitor levels and meteorological conditions. IDEM’s SmogWatch program and U.S. EPA’s AirNow program post the forecasts on the Internet and send the forecasts to citizens.

National Ambient Air Quality Standards

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) has set NAAQS for six criteria air pollutants: carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, lead, particulate matter, and sulfur dioxide. NAAQS are often referred to as federal health-based standards for ambient air.

When U.S. EPA sets a new NAAQS, the air quality of counties, and sometimes townships, is compared to the standard. The U.S. EPA then classifies the areas as:

  1. Attainment – The values at all monitors in the area are equal to or below the NAAQS;
  2. Non-attainment – The values at one or more monitor in the area is above the standard; or,
  3. Unclassifiable – There is insufficient information to determine the attainment of the area.

States are given time to compare air monitoring data to the new standard and recommend which areas meet or do not meet the new standard. No public comment period is available before IDEM submits attainment recommendations, so the agency makes all documents available to the public on-line. The U.S. EPA evaluates IDEM’s recommendations and proposes an attainment/nonattainment/unclassifiable designation for each part of the state. The public has the opportunity to comment to U.S. EPA on their proposed designation before a final designation is made.

When there is a non-attainment area within its borders, a state submits a State Implementation Plan (SIP) to U.S. EPA with the steps necessary to bring air quality back within the standard. SIPs are developed by IDEM with help from the local governments affected by the SIP. The public can comment on the SIP during the public comment period and/or during the public hearing. The SIP is submitted with comments to the U.S. EPA. IDEM regularly amends its SIPs to be consistent with federal requirements.

While an area is considered non-attainment, they are subject to controls that are not required in attainment areas. The Clean Air Act requires large facilities that seek a new or expanded air permit are subject to additional permitting requirements. Additional controls may be implemented in order to find the best way to bring each area into attainment. When a non-attainment area measures air quality that meets the NAAQS, states may ask U.S. EPA to redesignate the area. The state drafts a redesignation petition and maintenance plan to ensure the area’s air quality will meet the NAAQS in the future. The public can review the draft documents and submit comments during the comment period and/or the public hearing. IDEM will submit the final documents and the public comments to the U.S. EPA, who may approve or deny the redesignation request.

Permitting

If your business operations produce waste gasses or particles that are released to the air, you may need some type of permit from IDEM's Office of Air Quality. The level of permit required depends on your potential emissions. To learn about the various air permit programs managed by IDEM, explore IDEM's Web site or contact our staff to discuss your specific plans for details about permitting requirements. Working with IDEM to obtain the correct permit will help you stay in compliance with environmental regulations. Failing to apply for an IDEM permit or operating without the correct type of permit would be considered violations of state or federal air permitting regulations.

Indiana's “Air Quality Permit Status Search” is a new search method to access air permit status information, as well as view and download actual permit documents. The search is linked directly to IDEM's Office of Air Quality permit tracking system to provide information on permit review activities for sources in Indiana.

Compliance and Enforcement

IDEM’s goal is to making Indiana a cleaner, healthier place to live and work. An important step toward achieving that goal is to ensure Indiana’s individuals, businesses, and governmental entities are complying with environmental laws. IDEM uses a variety of compliance tools to bring facilities with environmental problems into compliance with the law. These tools include conducting inspections, surveillance, compliance monitoring, records review, providing compliance assistance and enforcement activities. IDEM’s Office of Air Quality Compliance Branch responds to violations with timely enforcement actions that accomplish three major goals: achieve compliance, deter future violations, and result in an improved environment.

Open Burning

Burning yard debris, household garbage, construction debris, or any other waste on the ground or in an unapproved container is known as “open burning.” Open burning is not an appropriate way to dispose of waste because it releases large amounts of hazardous emissions into the air and is a fire hazard. Open burning may be banned locally due do county, township, city, or town ordinances. If open burning is allowed locally, state rules that must be obeyed since uncontrolled burning can result in the emission of small particles, or “particulate matter,” carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides and hazardous air pollutants.

Burning household trash and outdoor waste, such as plastics and building materials, is always illegal because these items emit harmful chemicals when burned. These pollutants pose a risk to health and can contaminate soil and water. IDEM’s Office of Air Quality Compliance Branch responds to open burning complaints and works with local health departments and fire departments to address open burning problems.

Asbestos

Asbestos is a problem because, as a toxic substance and a known carcinogen, it can cause several serious diseases in humans. Symptoms of these diseases typically develop over a period of years following asbestos exposure. Asbestos-containing materials in buildings do not always pose a problem to occupants or workers in those buildings. Intact, undisturbed asbestos-containing materials generally do not pose a health risk. They may become hazardous and pose increased risk when they are damaged, disturbed in some manner, or deteriorate over time and thus release asbestos fibers into building air.

All facilities (except residential buildings that have four or fewer dwelling units) must be inspected by an Indiana licensed asbestos inspector prior to starting demolition or renovation activities. Even if no asbestos is present in the facility, proper notification of demolition or renovation activity requirements must still be followed. Homeowners are exempt from notification and removal requirements but not all disposal requirements. Those working to remove asbestos must be licensed to work in Indiana.

Voluntary Idling Program

While burning fuel is necessary as a routine part of commerce, some of that fuel is wasted due to excessive idling. Increasing fuel efficiency reduces petroleum consumption, fuel costs, engine wear and maintenance costs, vehicle emissions and noise. There are many alternatives to idling that range from no-cost options to options costing several thousand dollars. Much depends on the extent of the idling problem and the ability to convince the vehicle owner/operator to adopt the alternative(s).

In order to assist freight carriers and manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to reduce or eliminate unnecessary heavy-duty diesel truck idling, IDEM has developed the Voluntary Idling Program (VIP) for Cleaner Air. After your company has signed up to become a VIP partner you will receive additional information that will help drivers improve their idling habits, for example, using reformulated fuels and gasoline vapor recovery are ways to reduce emissions.

Please visit the following links to learn more about the Voluntary Idling Program:

  • Freight Carriers: Truck drivers, owner-operators and fleet managers
  • Manufacturers, Distributors and Retailers: Manufacturing facilities, distribution centers and shipping receivers
  • VIP Idling Program Partners: Interested in signing up your company for the VIP challenge? See what other Indiana businesses have done to reduce idling.
  • Frequently Asked Questions: Answers to common questions regarding vehicle idling and the VIP program
  • Diesel Idling Facts and Myths: Facts about diesel engines and idling
  • Multimedia Resources: News releases, articles and printed materials
  • SmartWay Technology Savings Package Calculator: The calculator is designed to help truck owners compare the costs and estimate the fuel savings associated with various efficiency technologies.

SmogWatch

IDEM has created an informational tool known as “SmogWatch” to provide daily air quality forecasts to the public. SmogWatch provides information about ground-level ozone and particulate matter air quality forecasts, health information, and monitoring data for seven regions of Indiana.

Indiana experiences its highest levels of ground-level ozone from mid-May until mid-September. During this time, Smog Watch provides daily health information and ozone forecasts. Particulate matter information and forecasts are available year-round. To access the air quality forecast and health scale reading for your area, visit the SmogWatch Web site. The forecasts are based on actual air quality readings and weather patterns analyzed by state and federal meteorologists. Symbols on the map represent the regional air quality forecast as follows:

Table 1-1: SmogWatch Regional Air Forcast Key
Symbol Meaning AQI* Range
Good 0-50
Moderate 51-100
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 101-150
Unhealthy 151-200
Very Unhealthy 201-300

*Air Quality Index

Air Quality Outreach Campaigns

Ground-level ozone is known as a “summer-time” pollutant because it is formed when sunlight and hot weather bake vehicle exhaust, factory emissions and gasoline vapors. While ozone in the upper atmosphere is necessary to block ultraviolet radiation, ground-level ozone is an irritant to the respiratory system and can cause coughing and difficulty breathing. Exposure to high ozone levels over several days may increase the chance of these symptoms. That is why it is important to prevent unhealthy levels of ozone at ground level.

IDEM has identified the last two weeks in June as historically being the most likely time for elevated ozone levels in Indiana. In 2008, IDEM created a public awareness campaign to educate Hoosiers about small steps they can take to improve local air quality, especially during the last two weeks of June. Originally known as “Ozone Knockout ‘08,” IDEM staff traversed the state throughout May and June, engaging businesses and citizens to offer tips and information about voluntary measures for reducing emissions of ozone-forming pollutants. Staff encouraged patrons and citizens to avoid idling in drive-through lines, use public transportation, ride bikes or walk to nearby destinations, turn down air conditioners a few degrees, and mow their yards and pump gas during the cooler evening hours.

Beginning in 2009, IDEM is implementing an air quality education and awareness campaign statewide. Called “Clean Air Indiana,” this program will address the issues of ozone and fine particles throughout the year.

IDEM will continue examining weather patterns and current monitoring readings to make daily air quality forecasts. To learn more about ozone and to sign up to receive air quality forecasts, visit the SmogWatch Web site.

Office of Land Quality

Quick View:

  • Mission: To oversee the environmental protection of land throughout the state.
  • Staffing/Budget: The Office of Land Quality has an annual budget of approximately $162 million which serves nineteen major programs and over 300 staff members. Key programs include monitoring and permitting programs such as CFO/CAFOs, landfills and Underground Storage Tanks. Funding is also included for mitigation programs, including state clean-ups and brownfields.
  • Major Focus of Office:
    1. Permitting and compliance inspection of landfills – A regulatory program that reviews plans for landfills, permits them, and makes scheduled inspections of landfills and solid waste operations to be sure that they are in compliance.
    2. Permitting and compliance inspection of confined feeding operations (CFOs) and confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) – A regulatory program that reviews plans for CFOs and CAFOs, permits them, and makes scheduled inspections to be sure that they are in compliance.
    3. Hazardous waste management and disposal – A regulatory program that reviews plans, permits hazardous waste management facilities and makes scheduled inspections of sites to be sure that they are in compliance.
    4. Emergency response to releases or spills of environmentally-harmful materials – A regulatory program that responds to environmental emergencies throughout the state. Calls come in through the 24-hour spill line (888) 233-7745 and staff is dispatched to the location of the environmental emergency. Staff provides a quick response to stopping the source of the spill, containing it, and oversight of the clean-up process.
    5. Enforcement and state cleanup – A regulatory program that enforces environmental laws and rules, issues fines when necessary, and oversees cleanup of the environmental infraction to bring a site back into compliance. Follow-up inspections are done to be sure a facility is maintaining compliance.
  • Enforcement/State Cleanup: Manages state and federal land contamination cleanup programs
    1. Superfund – The Federal government's program to clean up the nation's uncontrolled hazardous waste sites. Sites are prioritized as to how much risk they pose.
    2. Voluntary Remediation Program - The Voluntary Remediation Program (VRP) provides any site owner or prospective owner a mechanism to cleanup contaminated property. When the cleanup is completed, IDEM will issue a Certificate of Completion and the Governor's office will issue a Covenant Not To Sue.
    3. Leaking Underground Storage Tanks - Underground storage tanks (known as USTs) are big containers placed underground to hold large quantities of liquids or gases. USTs also have piping and a pump station to move the tank contents to where they are used. About 95% of all USTs store petroleum products like gasoline or oil. Tanks may hold industrial chemicals, pesticides, or even food products. IDEM closely regulates under-ground storage tanks, because leaking tanks can easily contaminate ground water. A spill of only three gallons of gasoline can spoil drinking water for a small town. It is important to protect ground water, because about 60% of Hoosiers get drinking water from ground water supplies.
    4. Brownfields - Brownfields are parcels of real estate that are abandoned, inactive, or may not be operated at their appropriate use, which stakeholders hesitate to redevelop due to actual or potential environmental contamination. Brownfields can range in size from large factories to small gas stations.
  • Solid Waste Management Board: Adopts rules to regulate solid and hazardous waste in Indiana

Mission

IDEM’s Office of Land Quality (OLQ) permits facilities that treat, store or dispose of hazardous waste under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). OLQ also permits facilities that process or dispose of solid waste including municipal solid waste; conducts compliance activities associated with waste facilities; performs emergency response to releases/spills of hazardous materials; and manages state and federal land contamination cleanup programs, including Superfund, the Voluntary Remediation Program (VRP), the Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) Program, the Brownfields Program and others.

Disposal of hazardous waste

Hazardous waste is often a result of industrial production and manufacturing. In some cases this waste is a direct by-product of the manufacturing process or left over material used in the production process itself. IDEM issues permits to facilities that treat, store or dispose of hazardous waste under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

IDEM also permits facilities that process or dispose of solid waste and municipal solid waste. Part of this permitting process is to inspect facilities to verify that protective environmental laws and rules are properly followed.

Permitting and compliance inspection of landfills

Landfills are needed to dispose of solid waste. The OLQ oversees these facilities to ensure that they operate in an environmentally-protective manner. The OLQ reviews applications for landfills and verifies that the design and operation of the proposed landfill meets strict federal and state guidelines. Once the landfill receives their permit, IDEM inspects facilities regularly to verify that facilities are operating according to the guidelines of their permit and that all federal and state rules are being followed.

Permitting and compliance inspection of CFOs and CAFOs

Agricultural business, known as agribusiness, has always played an important role in Indiana’s economy. A large part of Indiana’s agribusiness is the commercial raising of farm animals. Large farms fall into a category called confined feeding operations (CFO) or concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO), categories which are determined by the number of animals that a farm raises. A CAFO is required to apply for an additional permit called the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. This is a federal permit issued through the U.S. EPA and IDEM and provides further rules that farms must follow to protect land and water quality.

CFO and CAFO farms raise animals in a confined area and feed them grain rather than allowing the animals to graze. These types of operation have increased manure production because of the number of animals they have. State and federal rules and regulations provide IDEM the authority to prevent farms from polluting surface and ground water through the regulation of manure storage, land application, management of storm water run-off and soil erosion.

Once the CFO or CAFO farms receive their permits, the OLQ also provides oversight during new construction to make sure that they meet all guidelines and that the construction is protective of the environment. IDEM regularly inspects facilities to verify that the facilities are operating according to the requirements of their permit and that all federal and state rules are being followed. IDEM does not have authority to address concerns relative to property values, traffic and odors regarding CFO and CAFO facilities. These concerns should be addressed through local planning and zoning ordinances.

Solid Waste Management Board

The Solid Waste Management Board was established by Indiana statute to adopt rules to regulate solid and hazardous waste. The board is composed of representatives from the business community, citizen groups, environmental groups, agricultural community, labor community, medical community and government. As the need to change existing rules or to develop new rules arises, the board considers the proposals and votes on whether to accept or reject them.

Office of Water Quality

Quick View:

  • Mission: To monitor, protect, and improve Indiana’s water quality
  • Staffing/Budget: The Office of Water Quality has an annual budget of approximately $52 million which serves twelve major programs and over 200 staff members. Key programs include monitoring, NPDES permitting, and 319 grant programs.
  • Major Focus of Office:
    1. Federal Clean Water Act – reviews projects and entities to ensure compliance with the federal Clean Water Act and continued improvement of Indiana’s surface water quality
    2. Federal Safe Drinking Water Act - oversees the implementation of federal drinking water standards at the local level to ensure safe drinking water for all Hoosiers
    3. Assessment of Indiana waters – utilizes water and ecological testing to determine the extent to which water quality standards are being met
    4. Watershed planning – implements programs focusing on protecting Indiana’s wetlands and waterways, and establishes best management practices to ensure their continued preservation
    5. Permitting – establishes limits for drinking water utilities, wastewater treatment utilities, other entities that discharge into Indiana’s waters; sets requirements for construction-based interferences in Hoosier waterways
    6. Enforcement – a tool used to bring facilities with serious environmental problems into compliance with the law.

Mission

The Office of Water Quality’s (OWQ) mission is to monitor, protect, and improve Indiana’s water quality to ensure its continued use as a drinking water source, habitat for wildlife, recreational resource and economic asset.

Federal Clean Water Act

The state of Indiana works with entities across the state to ensure the continued improvement of Hoosier surface water quality. The principle law, based on the Federal Water Pollution Control Amendments of 1972 and updated by the Clean Water Act of 1977 and the Water Quality Act of 1987, established the goal of eliminating releases to waterways. Especially focusing on substances that could be harmful to human or ecological health, the law has worked to limit and reduce pollution entering federal and state waters.

In order to maintain continued improvement of state waterways, several permitting programs are managed by OWQ, including the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System and the Section 401 Water Quality certification.

Federal Safe Drinking Water Act

The Safe Drinking Water Act was originally passed by Congress in 1974 and was amended in 1986 and 1996. The law works to protect public health by regulating the nation's public drinking water supply and protects drinking water and its sources, including rivers, lakes, reservoirs, springs, and ground water.

IDEM works with drinking water utilities around the state to ensure safe drinking water for all Hoosiers by providing regulatory oversight and technical assistance. OWQ ensures that public drinking water facilities monitor the quality of water that is being provided to citizens, and provides routine inspections to facilities. Additionally, new facility plans are reviewed prior to construction to verify that the designs will meet federal, state and regional standards.

Assessment of Indiana’s Waters

Surveys

In 1996, IDEM began the first comprehensive five year study of the State's ten major watersheds. Information from these continuing studies is integrated with data from other programs to make overall assessments of the state's waters. Surveys are used to provide the water quality and hydrological data required for the assessment of Indiana's waters by conducting watershed/basin surveys and stream reach surveys. Such surveys determine the extent to which water quality standards are being met and whether the water bodies can continue to be used for fishing, swimming and drinking water supply.

Biological Studies

OWQ is responsible for determining the biological integrity of the aquatic communities of Indiana lakes, rivers and streams. This is done through a variety of field and laboratory studies that involve several different forms of aquatic life. Biological studies also include analyses of fish and aquatic wildlife. Also, OWQ monitors stream habitats to identify impaired streams or watersheds. Fish tissue and sediment sampling is also utilized to pinpoint sources of toxins and substances that collect in aquatic wildlife and this data serves as the basis for fish consumption advisories which are issued to protect the health of Indiana citizens.

Toxicology and Chemistry

OWQ provides technical service in the areas of general and environmental toxicology, toxicity evaluation and risk assessment analysis, quality assurance of environmental sampling and analytical data results from analysis of environmental samples. Broadly speaking, IDEM staff provide information regarding the current and future impact of various pollutants and toxic substances on aquatic life, human health and the environment. Quality assurance support is provided to various programs across OWQ for analytical data collected to meet individual project objectives.

Watershed Planning

Total Maximum Daily Load

A Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) is a tool for implementing water quality standards and is based on the relationship between pollutant sources and in-stream water quality conditions. The TMDL establishes the discharge levels for a water body that can occur while still maintaining water quality. TMDLs also provide the basis to establish water quality-based controls and other actions needed to attain water quality standards such as water quality goals to protect aquatic life, drinking water, and other water uses.

Nonpoint Source Pollution is a leading cause of impaired water quality throughout the country, and is extremely difficult to pinpoint. It is caused by precipitation moving over the ground collecting contaminates from natural and man-made pollutants, which then flows into storm water systems and eventually streams. These contaminants affect Hoosiers, aquatic ecosystems and wildlife, and best management practices are often included as recommendations in a TMDL. The Nonpoint Source Pollution section administers funding opportunities to improve Indiana water quality.

Wetlands Program

Wetlands are diverse segments of the Indiana landscape that absorb and slowly release water through evaporation into ground water and nearby streams. State regulations regarding the protection of wetlands, streams and lakes play an important role in protecting Hoosiers, as well as preserving Indiana waters. IDEM administers several permits in Indiana wetlands and water quality certification related to construction, excavation, and dredging projects.

Storm water Program

Storm water run-off is a natural part of the water cycle. Storm water run-off includes rainfall, snowmelt, and other forms of precipitation that falls to the earth's surface. Physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of a watershed change as construction, agriculture and development alter the land and run-off conditions. Land that is developed undergoes a significant change when surfaces such as concrete replace natural landscapes, causing water to flow over the surfaces rather than being absorbed and may result on higher concentrations of pollutants.

The emphasis of IDEM storm water permits is water quality not quantity. Issues relating to storm water quantity are typically regulated through local ordinances. IDEM administers several storm water permits focusing on construction and industrial activities, erosion and run-off.

Permitting

Waterways

IDEM operates the federal wastewater discharge permit program, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), for more than 1600 municipal, semi-public and private entities, limiting the amount of pollutants an entity may discharge into Indiana waters. Additionally, the agency manages the federal storm water discharge permit program and regulates the discharge of fill to waters and wetlands under the Clean Water Act.

Wastewater Treatment Systems

OWQ issues permits for construction of sewer lines and wastewater treatment facilities, conducts compliance activities for wastewater dischargers, certifies wastewater treatment facility operators and assists wastewater treatment facilities with continued environmentally-friendly and responsible operation.

Drinking Water Systems

IDEM works with more than 700 community public water supply systems and thousands of small systems for businesses, churches, schools and restaurants to provide safe drinking water to the citizens of Indiana. Additionally, the agency works with systems to: ensure protection of their source of drinking water; certifies drinking water facility operators; and, implements the federal Safe Drinking Water Act in Indiana.

Enforcement

IDEM’s goal is to make Indiana a cleaner, healthier place to live and work. An important step toward achieving that goal is to ensure Indiana’s individuals, businesses, and governmental entities are complying with environmental laws. IDEM uses enforcement to bring facilities with serious environmental problems into compliance with the laws. IDEM’s Office of Water Quality responds to water quality violations with timely enforcement actions that accomplish three goals: achieve compliance, deter future violations, and result in an improved environment.

Education/Outreach

Hoosier Water Guardian

The Hoosier Water Guardian program is an awards program available to communities practicing wellhead protection and protection of drinking water ground water resources. In 2008, the State of Indiana was recognized by the National Groundwater Foundation for implementation of their Hoosier Water Guardian Awards program. Indiana’s Groundwater Guardian Team developed a voluntary program to promote wellhead protection among communities who depend on ground water as their primary source of drinking water. Three levels of recognition were established. During 2008, two communities were awarded the highest level of recognition and one received the middle level of recognition for their work done within the last five years or planned for over the next five years. All award winners must demonstrate that they have gone or will go above and beyond the minimum state requirements.

Office of Pollution Prevention and Technical Assistance

Quick View:

  • Mission: To promote pollution prevention, recycling, and to offer compliance assistance.
  • Staffing/Budget: The Office of Pollution Prevention and Technical Assistance has an annual budget of approximately $12 million which serves nine major programs and approximately 30 staff members. Key programs include solid waste management programs, technical assistance and grant programs.
  • Major Focus of Office:
    1. Compliance and Technical Assistance Program - a non-regulatory program that provides free, confidential compliance and technical assistance to regulated entities.
    2. Indiana Small Business Guide to Environmental, Safety and Health Regulations – a guidebook is designed to help small businesses understand and comply with regulations that apply to their operations.
    3. Indiana Recycling and Household Hazardous Waste Grants – a program that provides loans and grants to promote and assist recycling throughout Indiana.
    4. Pollution Prevention – confidential on-site assessments to assist facilities in identifying opportunities to reduce pollution, conserve raw materials and save money.
      1. Partners for Pollution Prevention – a group that discusses and shares pollution prevention successes and to advise IDEM on pollution prevention policies and programs.
      2. CLEAN Community Challenge - helps communities take steps to plan, develop, and implement a quality of life plan.
      3. Environmental Stewardship Program - a voluntary, performance-based leadership program designed to recognize and reward Indiana’s regulated entities for going above and beyond current environmental regulations.
      4. Toxic Release Inventory - informs the public of potential chemical releases and environmental waste generated by local facilities.
      5. Pollution Prevention Report – evaluates current efforts and makes recommendations to further promote pollution prevention programs and research.
      6. Recycling Market Development Program - promotes and assists recycling, focusing economic development efforts on businesses and projects involving recycling and developing markets for those recyclables.
    5. Recycling and managing solid waste
      1. Indiana Recycling Locations searchable database – a resource to locate recycling locations and provide information on composting, yard waste management and household hazardous waste disposal.
      2. Waste Tires - addresses the problem of illegal waste tire stockpiles and investigates reuse options.
  • Education/Outreach:
    1. Community Environmental Health and Education – a program that manages several initiatives directed toward educating schools, child care providers and other community-focused entities.
        Five-Star Environmental Recognition Program for Child Care Facilities – educates parents about environmental health and safety threats, and recognizes facilities that demonstrate environmental stewardship.
    2. Student Environmental Education – offers hands-on, on-site environmental education for children of all ages.
    3. GreenSteps for Schools – A tool kit which includes a free CD-ROM that helps schools examine environmental issues

    Mission

    OPPTA is committed to finding better ways to help others voluntarily prevent pollution and understand, achieve and exceed environmental responsibilities through confidential technical assistance, education, and financial support. OPPTA provides funding for source reduction, pollution prevention and recycling initiatives; manages community right-to-know provisions for hazardous releases; and, works with the state’s solid waste management districts on solid waste recycling/diversion. OPPTA has many programs designed to assist citizens improve their local communities.

    Compliance and Technical Assistance Program (CTAP)

    CTAP is a one-stop shop for environmental regulatory compliance needs. IDEM staff provide technical and confidential compliance assistance on a wide array of environmental topics. CTAP is Indiana's small business environmental assistance program and is statutorily authorized under Indiana Code. CTAP is a non-regulatory program that provides free, confidential compliance and technical assistance to regulated entities.

    Environmental regulations can be overwhelming to small businesses. CTAP provides permit application assistance, training and workshops, online resources and general information assistance. CTAP offers one-on-one onsite consultations and are highly-skilled environmental professionals dedicated to helping small businesses understand and comply with environmental regulations. Staff are available weekdays to answer questions or to schedule a private meeting. The number is (800) 988-7901 (in-state only) or (317) 232-8172.

    Indiana Small Business Guide to Environmental, Safety and Health Regulations

    One of the resources CTAP offers is the “Indiana Small Business Guide to Environmental, Safety, and Health Regulations.” The guidebook is designed to help small businesses understand and comply with regulations that apply to their operations. Like other industrial activities, small businesses use a variety of materials and potentially hazardous chemicals that generate waste that must be handled, treated, and/or disposed of properly. Although the average small business is not a major source of pollution, their aggregate impact on the environment can be significant. The guide describes how wastes may enter the environment, how to prevent them from doing so, and which remediation methods to use if contamination does occur. Also, the guide addresses the importance of safety and health in the workplace and explains how to comply with applicable safety and health regulations. To obtain a copy, call (317) 232-8172 or (800) 988-7901, or view the guide online.

    Indiana Recycling and Household Hazardous Waste Grants

    This program provides loans and grants to promote and assist recycling throughout Indiana by focusing on economic development efforts. The program encourages industrial and commercial entities to incorporate recycling into their activities through economics. It is supported by the Indiana Recycling Promotion and Assistance Fund. For more information, please consult the Recycle Indiana Recycling Market Development Program Web site or contact the Office of Pollution Prevention and Technical Assistance at (317) 232-8172.

    Pollution Prevention

    In an effort to assist businesses, OPPTA offers free, confidential on-site pollution prevention opportunity assessments to Indiana manufacturers. An environmental engineer will visit a manufacturing facility and assist in identifying opportunities that can reduce pollution, conserve raw materials and save money.

    Partners for Pollution Prevention

    In 1996, IDEM organized the Partners for Pollution Prevention (Partners). Partners have a proven interest in pollution prevention based upon their involvement in grants, awards, and other programs. The Partners provided a forum to discuss and share pollution prevention successes and to advise IDEM on pollution prevention policies and programs. Since that time, the group has grown and now consists of approximately 55 businesses, organizations, and individuals. Many have received Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence for their outstanding contribution to Indiana's environment.

    Partner membership is free, voluntary, and contingent on an organization supporting the ledge">partners pledge. Partners must have good environmental, health and safety records. Unresolved compliance issues or enforcement actions involving your facility may prevent participation in the program. For more information about the Partners for Pollution Prevention or to receive a membership application, contact OPPTA at (800) 988-7901 or (317) 233-6662. New members will be inducted at quarterly meetings and will receive a copy of the pledge signed by IDEM’s commissioner.

    CLEAN Community Challenge

    The Indiana Comprehensive Local Environmental Action Network (CLEAN) Community Challenge is a voluntary recognition program for local Indiana government. CLEAN helps communities take steps to plan, develop, and implement a quality of life plan. This plan includes gathering input and support from the community and local businesses.

    The Indiana CLEAN Community Challenge is open to all local governments in the state of Indiana. Eligible local governments include any city, town, or county within the state of Indiana, but excludes private entities that provide municipal services under contract. Counties are eligible for the Indiana CLEAN Community Challenge as long as the county commissioners are used as the top management. Solid Waste Management Districts (SWMD) are not eligible to apply as a lone entity. To be recognized as an Indiana CLEAN Community, municipalities must have a positive environmental, health, and safety record. Those local governments with negative past records must demonstrate improvement in recent history and provide a detailed plan of continual improvement in the future. Unresolved compliance issues or enforcement actions involving the local government may eliminate an applicant from consideration.

    There is no fee to participate in the Indiana CLEAN Community Challenge. Meeting challenge requirements involves municipal employee time during the planning, development, and implementation phases, but participants will receive free assistance during each step of the challenge. IDEM is developing tools to help municipalities determine the costs of potential environmental and pollution prevention projects. Additional information about the CLEAN Community Challenge can be obtained by calling (800) 988-7901 or visiting IDEM’s Web site.

    Environmental Stewardship Program (ESP)

    IDEM’s Environmental Stewardship Program (ESP) is a voluntary, performance-based leadership program designed to recognize and reward Indiana’s regulated entities for going above and beyond current environmental regulations.

    ESP was modeled after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Environmental Performance Track Program and focuses on improving Indiana's environment and business climate through innovation and efficient resource allocation. Participating organizations achieve environmental objectives through creating and implementing an environmental management system (EMS). Together, the EMS and the steward's commitment to continual environmental improvement will increase their efficiency, decrease environmental impacts, and may save the business time, money, and resources. Regulatory flexibility incentives earned by members were designed to provide business value, reduce regulatory oversight, allow a shift in resources from compliance driven to achieving results, and provide the member with increased operational flexibility.

    To become an ESP member, a business must maintain an exemplary compliance record, certify that it has adopted and implemented an approved environmental management system, and commit to specific measures for continued improvement in its environmental performance. ESP members qualify for expedited permit review, flexibility in permitting, reduced reporting frequencies, and coordination of compliance inspections in exchange for going above and beyond environmental requirements. To maintain ESP membership, companies must report on their environmental initiatives every year and re-apply for ESP membership every three years.

    ESP applications are accepted twice a year, April 1 through May 31 and September 1 through October 31.

    After becoming an ESP member, entities must annually report on their environmental achievement using the ESP Annual Performance Report (now available on the IDEM Forms page). The ESP Annual Performance Report must be submitted to IDEM by April 1st for each calendar year in which the entity has been a member for at least three full months. An annual summary submitted to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a requirement of Performance Track membership shall constitute an equivalent submission. Additional information can be found by calling (800) 988-7901 or by visiting IDEM's Web site.

    Toxic Release Inventory

    OPPTA manages a Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) database that contains detailed information on nearly 650 chemicals and chemical categories that over 23,000 industrial and other facilities manage through disposal or other releases, recycling, energy recovery or treatment. The TRI's primary function is to inform the public of potential chemical releases and environmental waste generated by local facilities. Only facilities that meet certain requirements must report.

    TRI data is useful for finding trends but must be used in combination with other types of data to determine the amount of chemicals Hoosiers are exposed to. OPPTA staff are available to help facilities determine if they need to report to the TRI, assist with reporting and provide on-site TRI assistance. To receive tips on completing TRI Forms or to find information on upcoming TRI workshops, call (800) 988-7901 or visiting the IDEM Web site.

    Pollution Prevention Report

    Each year, IDEM is required to publish the Pollution Prevention Annual Report to the legislature and the governor. The report assesses: the progress of pollution prevention efforts by industry; identifies state regulations and policies that block pollution prevention; how pollution prevention has benefited government and industry; identifies opportunities for research and development; and, makes recommendations to further promote pollution prevention programs and research. The draft report is available for public comment before IDEM forwards it to the governor and the legislature. If you have questions about commenting on this report, contact IDEM at (800) 988-7901.

    Recycling Market Development Program

    IDEM administers all loans and grants of the Recycling Market Development Program (RMDP). OPPTA’s Source Reduction and Recycling Branch oversees these duties for IDEM.

    The RMDP is supported through the Recycling Promotion and Assistance Fund, which is funded through revenue from the state-mandated $0.50 per ton solid waste disposal fee. Repayment by applicants of zero percent loans also adds to the balance of the fund. The fund is to be used to promote and assist recycling throughout Indiana by focusing economic development efforts on businesses and projects involving recycling and developing markets for those recyclables. The Recycling Market Development Board approves spending of the fund.

    Recycling and Managing Solid Waste

    In 1990, solid waste management districts (SWMDs) were formed as a new local government entity to manage solid waste in Indiana. Today, there are 62 single-county districts and 8 multi-county districts in Indiana. SWMDs are the local authority on recycling, yard waste, and household hazardous waste. These districts exist to proactively reduce the amount of waste going to final disposal (landfills and incinerators) through education, source reduction, reuse, and recycling. Every district operates in a slightly different manner, but all are supervised by boards of locally-elected officials, managed by professional staff, and work toward a common goal of reducing solid waste disposed of by residents and businesses in Indiana.

    Society's energy consumption is reduced by recycling. For example, it requires less energy to make a new glass bottle from a recycled one because recycled glass melts at a lower temperature than the raw materials. Recycling also prolongs the life of the equipment used to create glass products. Similarly, making aluminum cans from recycled aluminum uses a fraction of the energy needed to make them from bauxite ore.

    Indiana recycling locations searchable database

    IDEM’s Web site provides a resource to help locate local recycling locations and provide information on local composting, yard waste programs and local household hazardous waste collection programs at www.recycle.IN.gov. Please contact the local program for up-to-date detailed information regarding their services. If you know of a recycling service not referenced in the database, e-mail "recycling at idem.in.gov".

    For more information on recycling, visit Recycle Indiana and for more information on where to recycle visit, use the Recycle Indiana provided searchable map. Information about recycling grants can be found on the Recycle Indiana Web site.

    Waste Tire Annual Report

    Large accumulations of whole tires pose a serious public health threat by providing breeding grounds for mosquitoes and other pests. An additional threat to human health and the environment is the possibility of fire, which could damage the environment through air pollution and run-off to nearby water resources. IDEM established the waste tire management program to address the problem of illegal waste tire stockpiles and to investigate reuse options for this potentially valuable resource. Since the creation of the program, Indiana has been successful in eliminating many large abandoned tire piles and providing financial assistance for entities to develop sustainable markets for the use of Indiana waste tires.

    IDEM is required to publish a waste tire annual report to the legislature and the governor, usually in the spring. The report assesses the progress of waste tire management, the status of the waste tire management fund, and the status of programs funded. The draft report is available for public comment before IDEM forwards it to the governor and the legislature. If you have questions about commenting on this report, contact IDEM at (800) 988-7901. To learn more about the waste tire program, visit the Recycle Indiana Web site.

    Education/Outreach

    Community Environmental Health and Education Program

    In order to increase knowledge and awareness of the environment and environmental health issues, the agency maintains the IDEM Community Environmental Health and Education Program. The program, which is directed toward schools, child care providers, and other community-focused entities, manages several initiatives.

    5-Star Environmental Recognition Program for Child Care Facilities

    IDEM, together with child care facilities, child care and youth associations, other governmental agencies, medical personnel and parents, developed the 5-Star Environmental Recognition Program for Child Care Facilities to help Indiana parents and child care facilities learn about the environmental health and safety threats that may affect their children. The program recognizes child care facilities that go above and beyond requirements and demonstrate environmental stewardship.

    Facilities participating in this program have become knowledgeable and taken steps to reduce children's exposure to pesticides, lead hazards, radon, asbestos, mercury, mold, vehicle exhaust, chemical fumes, respiratory triggers, and more. In addition, many have started recycling programs, developed formal written plans for chemical management, make efforts to purchase items made with recycled content, and reduce energy usage at the facility. For more information on this program, please visit the Web site, or download the 5-Star Environmental Recognition Program brochure [PDF]. For more information on this program, please contact OPPTA at (800) 988-7901 or on-line at the IDEM Web site.

    Student Environmental Education

    Throughout the year, OPPTA offers hands-on, on-site, environmental education opportunities. From building an edible landfill to sorting “trash” and identifying recyclables, OPPTA offers a variety of activities for all ages in schools, scout troops, summer camps, and more across the state. With more than 14,000 students educated by staff in 2008, the program continues to grow in demand offering topics from air, land, and water quality; recycling; and an interactive Environmental Jeopardy game.

    GreenSteps for Schools

    The GreenSteps Program can help schools become greener and healthier at little or no cost. It can help school officials:

    • increase the quality of students' learning environment;
    • avoid serious and potentially life threatening health concerns;
    • ensure compliance with environmental regulations; and,
    • save money by minimizing waste and increasing efficiency.

    The GreenSteps program provides recommendations and tools to reduce potential hazards within the school environment through "greener" cleaning tips and recommendations for building maintenance, playground equipment, heating and ventilation, lighting, pests, classroom health triggers, paint, and pesticides. GreenSteps provided schools with a free CD-ROM based tool kit to help examine the environmental issues in and around the school.