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Indiana Department of Environmental Management

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Chapter 2: Table of Contents

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Chapter 2 - Section V: Appealing Final Decisions

When IDEM makes a final decision, anyone who disagrees or objects to it may file a formal appeal with the Indiana Office of Environmental Adjudication (OEA). OEA is not a part of IDEM; it was established in 1995 to provide a forum for the impartial review of decisions IDEM makes. Formal appeals must be submitted in writing, within the appropriate time period, to:

Office of Environmental Adjudication
Indiana Government Center North
Room N501
100 N. Senate Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2200

In most cases, if you received a notice of decision by U.S. mail, you have eighteen (18) days from the date of the postmark on the envelope to file your appeal. If you did not receive the notice by U.S. Mail; for example, it was delivered to you personally at your home or business or it was delivered by overnight express, you have fifteen (15) days from the date you received the notice to appeal it to OEA.

If you are petitioning to appeal the issuance of a permit, you may also want to request that the permit be "stayed.” A "stay" is a request that the approved action not be allowed to take place until a decision has been made regarding the appeal. Otherwise, when an appeal is filed, the approved action may become effective until the appeal is heard. For example, if an appeal is being filed regarding the construction of equipment that will emit air pollutants, construction of that equipment can begin fifteen (15) days after the appeal is filed, unless a stay was also requested and granted.

Any request for an appeals hearing must contain specific information. It is important to file your appeal within the time frame allowed by law and follow the other rules for filing an appeal. Otherwise, your petition may be considered untimely or improper, and you may not be able to appeal the permit. Details about appeal requirements and regulations you must adhere to are included in OEA’s online “Guide to the Appeals Process.”

It is your responsibility to understand the time limits and requirements that apply to you. You may contact OEA by phone at (317) 232-8591 for answers to procedural questions or check their Frequently Asked Questions Web site. The OEA will help you understand procedural issues, but do not expect to discuss details of your case other than in a formal setting such as a prehearing conference, a formal hearing, or a settlement conference. The OEA is prohibited by law from discussing a case without all sides being present. While not required, IDEM encourages you to seek the assistance of an attorney to help with your appeal.

For more information on the appeals process, refer to the Office of Environmental Adjudication Web site.

Title V Air Operating Permits

The appeals process is generally the same for most environmental decisions, but does differ if a Title V Air Operating Permit is being appealed because it also involves the U.S. EPA. There is a separate appeals process associated only with the issuance of initial (first time) Title V Air Operating Permits. Under IC 13-15-6-1(b), IDEM's issuance of an initial Title V Air Operating Permit may be appealed to the U.S. EPA's Environmental Appeals Board (EAB), in Washington, D.C. Such appeals must be received by the EAB within thirty (30) days of when IDEM issues a Notice of Decision. No special consideration is given regarding whether the appeal is sent by mail, or if the 30th day falls on a weekend day or holiday.

All filings delivered to the EAB by hand or courier, including Federal Express, UPS, and U.S. Postal Express Mail, must be delivered to the following address:

Colorado Building
1341 G Street, NW
Suite 600
Washington, D.C. 20005

All documents sent through the U.S. Postal Service (except by Express Mail) must be addressed to the EAB's mailing address:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Clerk of the Board, Environmental Appeals Board (MC 1103B)
Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20460-0001

For more information about filing an appeal with the U.S. EPA Environmental Appeals Board, call (202) 233-0122, or visit the EAB Web site.