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Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution continues to be, and is increasingly recognized by the public, as the largest remaining source of water quality impairments in the nation. The State NPS Management Plan, prepared by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) Office of Water Quality (OWQ), reflects the current goals and direction of Indiana’s NPS Management Program. The report documents the methods the state will use to meet the criteria included in the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (U.S. EPA’s) Nine Key Elements. The Nine Key Elements are outlined in the U.S. EPA’s 2004 supplemental NPS guidelines, and are required for approval of this plan. The report includes the following sections, which address the Nine Key Elements.
The vision of the Indiana NPS Management Program is to restore waters impaired by NPS pollution and maintain water quality through locally-led partnerships. In order to achieve this vision, a long-term goal was established:
Make measurable improvements in water quality by addressing NPS pollution through education, planning, and implementation.
The key components of the long-term goal are:
Corresponding program objectives (short-term, medium-term, and long-term) will guide the actions that IDEM and its partners will need to take in order to reach the long-term goals and program vision. Each objective includes a measure for tracking the success of the actions.
IDEM has established a hierarchy of funding priorities, which recognizes the importance of successful watershed planning and continued focus on restoring waters impaired by NPS pollution. The current funding priorities are:
A list of specific priorities and how NPS activities are ranked by IDEM is included in Chapter 3.
The agency’s methods and tools for efficiently managing and effectively implementing its NPS program are outlined in this report. The key components to successful implementation of the program are described and include:
Monitoring and evaluation are essential for effective NPS pollution management. This report includes a description of IDEM’s monitoring programs for surface and groundwater. The surface water monitoring program is designed to characterize the overall environmental quality of each major river basin and to identify those monitored waterbodies within each basin that are not fully supporting their designated beneficial uses. Waters that do not fully support one or more of their designated beneficial uses are placed on Indiana’s 303(d) List of Impaired Waters. The 303(d) List defines the universe of priority watersheds for the NPS program. Impaired waters are targeted first for watershed-based projects such as TMDLs or 319-funded watershed plans to further characterize pollutant sources, loadings, and develop strategies for addressing NPS pollution.
IDEM will review and evaluate the effectiveness of its NPS management programs through:
This plan is focused on the next five years and provides the foundation for future efforts. It will be reviewed using the measures of success outlined as part of the objectives to determine the effectiveness of the NPS programs.