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Chapter 4 satisfies Key Element No. 8 in the NPS Program and Grants Guidance by outlining the state’s methods and tools for managing and implementing its NPS program efficiently and effectively. This section details the procedures and protocols IDEM will implement to address agency coordination, planning, financial management, and education. These activities are the foundation of a successful NPS program.
Although IDEM has a lead role in developing and coordinating the implementation of the NPS management plan in the state of Indiana, IDEM is not solely responsible for solving the problem of NPS pollution. Many local, state, and federal agencies have authorities, programs, or responsibilities relating to the control of NPS pollution. Coordinating and focusing such a large number of entities to produce an effective NPS management program poses many challenges. While increased use of regulatory authorities has helped to address certain categories of NPS pollution, such as the issuance of the NPDES permits for the most significant municipal storm water discharges, Indiana will need to rely on a wide range of tools, activities, and authorities to address NPS pollution statewide.
Within IDEM, there are a number of programs that work to address NPS pollution through regulatory and non-regulatory approaches. A goal of IDEM is to strengthen internal communication between these programs to improve the exchange of information, coordinate program activities, and create new approaches to addressing NPS pollution with existing resources. In 2007, IDEM’s OWQ created the Watershed Initiative Task Force to verify whether resources were being allocated effectively to improve water quality in Indiana. The task force is comprised of members from all programs within the OWQ and is intended to improve the communication between programs and maximize resource effectiveness. A key function of this group is to evaluate watersheds identified by IDEM with NPS pollution issues and gauge watershed-based efforts to improve water quality. Another function is to recommend new approaches for IDEM programs to directly assist or improve the overall condition of water quality in the target watershed, as well as on the larger statewide level.
The following section summarizes the primary purpose of each IDEM program that addresses NPS pollution, notes its applicable legal authority, and links its role to IDEM’s NPS Plan.
The NPS program, which is part of IDEM’s OWQ, has the responsibility of administering Section 319 and Section 205(j) grant programs to fund education, planning, and implement activities targeted to reduce NPS pollution. The program also implements major sections of the NPS plan through internal and external coordination with partners and builds capacity on the state and local levels. Several other OWQ programs are linked to the NPS program, as follows:
IDEM Watershed Specialists provide direct support for all aspects of watershed planning and implementation work on the local level.
The storm water program provides assistance and regulatory oversight of:
The storm water program, which coordinates permit review and compliance activities with the NPS Program regarding project eligibility and 319 program policy development, works to address NPS pollution issues.
The TMDL program develops TMDL reports to characterize, on a watershed level, the extent and sources of water quality impairments, and develop required load reductions for the targeted pollutant. The TMDL program also provides information and technical support to watershed groups through water quality monitoring, data exchange, load reduction calculation assistance, and development of locally-led partnerships.
The water quality assessment program monitors water chemistry, biology, and habitat of streams to determine if a given waterbody is impaired. The program determines potential sources of pollution and the effects of water quality improvement activities in a given watershed. Data and analysis can be used to:
The source water program coordinates plans to public water suppliers regarding the degree to which the drinking water source may be impacted by a potential source of contamination. Results from source water assessment plans can be used by watershed groups and partners to identify possible water quality trends on a watershed-by-watershed basis.
The wetland program administers regulations regarding the alteration of streams, wetlands, and lakes by activities involving the placement of dredged or fill materials. The program coordinates permit review and compliance activities with the NPS program and can work to address NPS pollution issues.
The IDEM Office of Land Quality administers several programs, which are associated with the NPS program as follows:
The confined feeding program administers regulations to assure that animal waste storage structures are designed, constructed, and maintained to be structurally sound, and that manure is handled, and land applied, in an environmentally-acceptable manner. The program coordinates permit review and compliance activities with the NPS Program and works to address NPS pollution issues.
The land application program regulates issues such as the application of biodegradable sludge. The program coordinates permit review and compliance activities with the NPS program and works to address NPS pollution issues.
The solid waste/landfill program regulates the siting, construction, and maintenance of facilities designed to hold solid and hazardous wastes. The program coordinates permit review and compliance activities with the NPS program and works to address NPS pollution issues.
The IDEM Office of Pollution Prevention and Technical Assistance administers several programs, which are linked to the NPS program, as follows:
The compliance and technical assistance program (CTAP) administers Indiana’s small business environmental assistance program (BEAP), provides free and confidential environmental assistance to Indiana businesses. The program provides NPS pollution source elimination services to small businesses.
The Pollution Prevention Grant Program promotes pollution prevention, including NPS pollution reduction or elimination, to Indiana industries and within IDEM. This program also provides information on BMPs for storm water NPS issues.
The community environmental health and education program educates the public on various environmental topics, including NPS pollution, through the "Indiana Environment and You" curriculum and through school presentations. The program is also beginning an outreach effort to educate the public on phosphorus in fertilizer.
The Indiana State Revolving Fund Loan Program provides low interest loans to communities that can help in developing projects that reduce NPS pollution. Eligible NPS projects must provide water quality benefits to their respective communities and may include one or more of the following:
The goal of atmospheric deposition activities is to reduce the transfer of pollutants between air and water media, and abate deposition of NPS pollutants through atmospheric transport. The primary responsibility for air quality falls on IDEM’s Office of Air Quality.