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Indiana Department of Environmental Management


Chapter 2: Table of Contents

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Chapter 2 - Section III: Public Participation Opportunity Chart

A “public participation opportunity” is simply a way for Hoosiers to be involved in and informed about decisions that are being made. This chart summarizes the ways IDEM provides for you to participate in environmental issues, including how to report environmental emergencies or submit complaints. More details on the ways of getting involved are provided in the sections that follow.

  • Public comment period
    • A public comment period is a specific period of time provided for interested parties to submit questions, opinions, or concerns about decisions being made. Public comments typically are submitted in writing, although spoken comments may be accepted during formal public hearings.
  • Public hearing
    • A formal hearing where both written and oral comments are accepted; oral comments are recorded in an official transcript of the hearing. IDEM staff members typically will not answer questions during a formal public hearing.
  • Public meeting
    • A less formal, informational presentation, during which IDEM staff members will respond to questions from the group. Written comments may be accepted. There is no official transcript.
  • Public availability session
    • An open house format, in which IDEM staff members talk one-on-one with members of the public to answer questions and address concerns. Written comments may be accepted. There is no official transcript.
  • Notice of Decision (NOD)
    • When IDEM makes a final decision, it issues a Notice of Decision. IDEM may post the NOD on its Web site and/or e-mail or mail the NOD to individuals who submitted comments or have asked to be added to the mailing list.
  • Appealing a final IDEM decision
    • Parties who object to a final agency decision may file a formal appeal with the Indiana Office of Environmental Adjudication. The IDEM Notice of Decision (NOD) will contain instructions. More information about the appeals process can be found on the Office of Environmental Adjudication’s Web site.
  • Reporting an emergency
    • Report environmental emergencies, such as spills, to the IDEM 24-hour Spill and Environmental Emergency Line: (888) 233-7745
  • Filing a complaint
    • Call IDEM’s Complaint Coordinator at (800) 451-6027, ext. 2-4464, to report a pollution complaint
    • Contact the Complaint Clearinghouse.
    • Print, complete, and mail a paper-based Complaint Submission Form (now available on the IDEM Forms page)