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Indiana Department of Environmental Management

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Chapter 7: Table of Contents

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Chapter 7 - Section I: Overview

Inspections are a tool that the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) uses to verify that regulated entities are operating in a manner that is protective of human health and the environment. IDEM inspectors visit many facilities around the state every year to ensure that permits and environmental laws are being followed and that sampling data is being submitted correctly.

Entities that are found to be acting outside the bounds of permits or environmental law could be candidates for enforcement. If facilities and sources do not meet their environmental responsibilities and obligations, they are required to make operational changes necessary to return to compliance; if they refuse, IDEM may use legal enforcement to ensure Hoosiers and the environment are properly protected.

IDEM may take action to gain compliance from entities that:

  1. violate the terms and conditions of their permits;
  2. construct or operate facilities or sources without the appropriate permits; or,
  3. violate laws and rules that ban activities such as open burning or dumping waste or are out of compliance with their permits, or with state environmental rules and laws.

Common actions begin with a "warning of non-compliance" letter. The next step would then be a notice of violation, which is a violation letter that details the issues a facility must correct. For serious non-compliance issues, enforcement actions could escalate to assessing fines or requiring a negotiated settlement. Ultimately, a continued failure to return to compliance could even lead to civil lawsuits, criminal charges, or the revocation of permits.