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Indiana Department of Environmental Management

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Chapter 6: Table of Contents

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Chapter 6, Section VI - Permitting Areas - Solid Waste Permits

  Landfill or Incinerator Permit Landfill & Transfer Station Modification Transfer Station Permit Biological Waste Land Applications CFO/CAFO Permit Waste Tire Storage & Processing
Notify Adjacent Property Owners Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes – within 10 days Yes – within 10 days
Public Notice Yes Upon request Yes Yes Yes Adjoining owners
Notice Method Local newspaper Upon request, newspaper Local newspaper Local newspaper Local newspaper Letter
Public Comment Yes Upon request Yes Yes Yes No
Comment Length 30 days 30 days 30 days 30 days 30 days Not applicable
Public Meeting IDEM – upon request, Applicant – within 60 days Upon request Upon request Upon request Upon request None
Process Length 365 days 90 days 180 days Animal - No timeframe, Septic - 180 days 90 days 30 days

All permitting decisions regarding land quality in Indiana are made by the IDEM Office of Land Quality (OLQ). The OLQ decision making process is based on state and federal law and on rules adopted by the Solid Waste Management Board.

What types of permits are issued to recycling centers, transfer stations, landfills, incinerators and other facilities used to dispose of garbage and other solid wastes?

Each year IDEM issues approximately 250 solid waste permits or approvals. An additional 900 permits are renewed. The types of solid waste permits and permit modifications OLQ issues include:

Solid Waste Land Disposal Facility Permits

Municipal Solid Waste Landfills (MSWLFs): These facilities accept most commercial and residential wastes, construction or demolition debris, most non-hazardous industrial wastes and yard wastes including grass clippings and small limbs.

Construction/Demolition Debris Landfills (C/D Landfills): C/D Landfills accept construction or demolition debris. Depending on the facility, this debris may include asbestos products that are unlikely to be crumbled and less likely to become airborne, such as asbestos tiles or shingles. Locations may not accept loose, shredded or easily pulverized asbestos-containing products that could become airborne. C/D Landfills also may accept architectural elements such as moldings, doors, trim, radiators, gutters, windows or cabinets that are coated with lead-based paint. Lead-based paint wastes such as paint dust or sludge generated by lead-based paint removal projects cannot be disposed of at these locations.

Restricted Waste Sites (RWS): Only very limited types of non-hazardous industrial waste are accepted at these facilities. Restricted waste sites typically accept wastes generated by a single type of industrial activity, often from a single facility.

Solid Waste Processing Facility Permits

Municipal Solid Waste Incinerators: These facilities accept most commercial and residential wastes.

Municipal Solid Waste Transfer Stations: These sites serve as collection points to sort wastes and combine small loads for transportation to landfills. Transfer stations may also remove materials for recycling.

Solid Waste Processing or Disposal Permit Modifications

Major Modification to a Solid Waste Disposal Facility: A major modification is a change that significantly increases the capacity of a solid waste land disposal or processing facility. Additionally, a modification is considered major if it increases a land disposal facility's solid waste boundary by more than one acre.

Minor Modification to a Solid Waste Disposal Facility: Changes that are not a major modification but are significant enough to require a permit are minor modifications.

Small facility modifications that do not effect the environmental protection at the facility and improve the facility's operation are exempt from permit modifications. Facilities should contact the Office of Land Quality for more information or clarification at (317) 232-8941.

What types of public notice processes are used for solid waste permits or permit modifications?

IDEM is required to use one of three public notice processes for solid waste permitting. The process used is decided by the type of permit or the level of permit modification approval being requested by the applicant. Permits or permit modification requests that could have a more significant environmental impact generally require a more detailed application, a more comprehensive review process and the most opportunity for public participation.

For more information about the public notice process for various solid waste permits, visit the IDEM On-line Permit Guide.

How do you find out about solid waste applications and approved facilities?

A list of pending solid waste permit applications and confined feeding construction applications is available on IDEM’s Web site.

A list of approved solid waste disposal facilities is also available online. This list includes permitted solid waste facilities, CFOs, CAFOs, yard waste composting facilities and waste tire transporters and processors.

How can you participate in the process when IDEM is considering issuing a permit for a solid waste landfill or incinerator, or a major modification to such a facility?

  • What:
    • Permits regulate the handling, storage and disposal of solid waste.
  • Applicant Responsibilities:
    • Notify adjoining property owners.
    • Provide Good Character Disclosure statement.
  • IDEM Responsibilities:
    • Provide public notice of draft permit.
    • Distribute a notice of decision to the entity, local officials, and interested parties.
  • Public Notice:
    • Published in a local newspaper.
  • Public Comment Period:
    • 30 days.
  • Public Meeting:
    • May be held by request.
    • Must be held by applicant within 60 days.
  • Other Important Considerations:
    • IDEM has 365 days to issue a decision on a new permit and 180 days for a major modification.

IDEM has 365 days to issue a permitting decision on a municipal solid waste landfill, construction/demolition debris landfill, restricted waste site, municipal waste incinerator, or a major modification to an incinerator or any of these types of land disposal facilities. The applicant notifies the adjoining property owners when the application is submitted, and IDEM notifies county and local officials.

Once the application is deemed complete, IDEM publishes a public notice in a local newspaper. If there is a second newspaper within the affected county, IDEM will publish the public notice in both newspapers, as well as adjoining counties, if the facility is located within one mile of a county boundary. IDEM will also place the public notice on the IDEM Web site.

The required public notice will describe the proposed project and will announce the beginning of a 30 day public comment period. It will also describe how to request a public hearing on the permitting request and notify the public that a copy of the permit application may be viewed in the IDEM Virtual File Cabinet.

IDEM will also receive comments regarding the applicant's Good Character Disclosure Statement - 50400 (no available on the IDEM Forms page) during the public comment period. This good character disclosure statement describes any prior legal proceedings, judgments or convictions, as well as, the applicant's experience managing similar wastes. IDEM may deny a permit to any applicant with a history of convictions or repeated violations.

Solid Waste Landfill or Incinerator Permitting Public Participation Process
  1. Application is completed and turned in to IDEM.
  2. Applicant notifies adjoining property owners of the new application.
  3. IDEM notifies county and local officials of the new application.
  4. A public notice is published, including a 30 day public comment period and announcement of a public meeting or hearing, if applicable. A second public notice may be published in the case of a resident requested public meeting or hearing.
  5. IDEM receives comments regarding the applicant good character disclosure statement.
  6. IDEM holds a public hearing.
  7. Applicant holds a public meeting.
  8. Notice of Decision is sent to interested parties.

In addition to any public hearings IDEM holds, some applicants must also conduct a public meeting themselves. The public meeting must be held in the affected county within 60 days of their application being declared complete. The applicant must also publish a public notice announcing the meeting in a newspaper at least ten days before the meeting.

After the public meetings and hearings have been held and the public comment period has ended, the final decision is announced by IDEM in a notice of decision. The notice of decision is mailed to the applicant, officials, and interested parties. A copy of the permit decision also is placed in the local library by IDEM and also is posted on the IDEM Web site.

The notice of decision summarizes the permit and advises that it may be viewed at the local library. A response to the comments received during the public comment period also is included with the notice of decision, as well as information on how IDEM's permitting decision may be appealed.

How can you participate in the process when IDEM is considering issuing a minor permit modification to an existing facility, a major or minor permit modification to an existing transfer station, or a permit for air emissions from a municipal solid waste landfill?

  • What:
    • Permits regulate the handling, storage and disposal of solid waste.
  • Applicant Responsibilities:
    • Notify adjoining property owners.
    • Provide Good Character Disclosure statement.
  • IDEM Responsibilities:
    • Provide public notice of draft permit.
    • Distribute a notice of decision to the entity, local officials, and interested parties.
  • Public Notice:
    • Typically none, letters sent to interested parties.
  • Public Comment Period:
    • 30 days, by request.
  • Public Meeting:
    • May be held by request.
  • Other Important Considerations:
    • IDEM has 90 days to issue a decision on a minor modification.
    • IDEM has 180 days to issue a decision for major modifications or a new permit.

IDEM has 180 days to consider applications for permits or major modifications to transfer stations or recycling centers, and 90 days to consider applications for minor modifications to any type of solid waste processing or disposal facility. The applicant must notify adjoining property owners, with IDEM notifying county and local officials of the application submission. In addition to the affected parties and adjoining property owners applicants must include a list of all property owners within one-half mile of the boundary line within which solid waste may be disposed.

Public notice is generally only provided upon request, beyond letters sent to interested parties and adjoining landowners. If there is substantial public interest, or citizens file a petition, a formal public hearing will be held. The hearing, as well as, a 30 day public comment period is announced in a local newspaper. The applicant would be invited, but not required to attend the hearing, and at IDEM's discretion, a more informal discussion or question and answer period could be held after the formal hearing.

Solid Waste Minor Permitting Modification Public Participation Process
  1. Applicant notifies adjoining property owners of new application.
  2. IDEM notifies local county and city or town officials of new application.
  3. Possible Public Hearing if there is substantial public interest.
  4. Notice of Decision.

When the final permitting decision is made by IDEM, a notice of decision will be mailed to the applicant, local area officials and interested parties. Copies of the permit decision are provided to the applicant, placed in the local library of the affected county and posted on the IDEM Web site. The notice of decision will summarize the permit or modification and advise that it may be viewed at the library.

If a hearing and public comment period were held, a summary of responses to comments also will be included. The notice of decision also will include information on how IDEM's permitting decision may be appealed.

How can you participate in the process when IDEM is considering issuing a permit for a transfer station (including those with an associated recycling center)?

  • What:
    • Regulate entities that process solid waste.
  • Applicant Responsibilities:
    • Notify adjoining property owners/occupants.
  • IDEM Responsibilities:
    • Notify local officials and interested parties of application and notice of decision.
  • Public Notice:
    • Published in a local newspaper.
  • Public Comment Period:
    • 30 days.
  • Public Meeting:
    • May be held by request.
  • Other Important Considerations:
    • IDEM has 180 days to issue a decision on a new permit.

As with most other IDEM permits, the applicant must notify adjoining property owners. IDEM will notify local county and city or town officials that an application for this type of permitting approval has been received. IDEM has 180 days to consider applications for transfer station permits.

When a permit application for a new solid waste processing facility or transfer station or major permit modification of one of these permits is declared complete by IDEM, a public notice is published in a local newspaper. If the facility is located within one mile of the county boundary, a public notice also will be published in a local newspaper in that county as well. In addition, the public notice will be placed on the IDEM Web site.

The public notice will describe the proposed project and announce the beginning of a 30 day public comment period, providing instructions on how to submit comments. It also will advise that a copy of the permit application may be viewed in the IDEM file room and describe how a public hearing can be requested. When the permit decision is reached, IDEM will issue a notice of decision that summarizes the permit and lists where it may be viewed. A response to the comments received during the public comment period also is included with the notice of decision, as well as information on how IDEM's permitting decision may be appealed.

Other Solid Waste Permits/Approvals

What other types of permits are issued by IDEM for handling, processing, treating, re-using or disposing of non- hazardous solid waste?

IDEM also issues other permits that address more specific types of waste such as sludge, certain types of wastewater, animal waste, vegetative wastes and waste tires. Although some of this waste is accepted at landfills in other instances there may be limits, or even bans on these wastes in landfills.

How can you participate in the process when IDEM is considering issuing a permit to land apply or market certain biodegradable sludges or biosolids?

  • What:
    • Regulates entities that land apply certain materials.
  • Applicant Responsibilities:
    • Notify adjoining property owners/occupants.
  • IDEM Responsibilities:
    • Notify local officials, health department, planning commission, solid waste management district and interested parties of application
    • Provide notice of decision to potentially affected parties.
  • Public Notice:
    • Published in a local newspaper
  • Public Comment Period:
    • 30 days
  • Public Meeting:
    • May be held by request
  • Other Important Considerations:
    • No timeframe for the review of the application.

IDEM issues permits that allow some biodegradable waste materials to be applied to the land. Once the quality of the material is found to be acceptable and any disease-causing organisms die and are reduced to an acceptable level, these materials may be applied to agricultural lands, development sites or reclamation projects.

IDEM issues three types of permits for land application:

  1. Non Site: Specific permits authorize the application of high quality biosolids and industrial waste products on agricultural land within given counties, but do not specify a particular site.
  2. Site-Specific land application permits: list specific sites on which materials may be applied.
  3. Marketing and Distribution permits: allow a person to market or distribute biosolids and industrial waste products. Construction of off-site storage structures also are regulated by the land application program and may require a construction permit.

If the locations are identified, the applicant must notify adjoining property owners and occupants that it has applied for a permit. IDEM must notify affected county and local officials, health department, planning commission and solid waste management district that an application has been received. There are no specific deadlines for the review of applications for land application permits.

When an application is received by IDEM for the land application or distribution of waste material, a copy of the application is provided to the public libraries in the affected counties. IDEM publishes a public notice in the local newspaper in each affected county. The public notice describes the type of permit, the locations of any specific sites where waste material will be land applied, and announces that there is a 30 day public comment period.

IDEM staff will speak with any individual or small group requesting a public meeting, although formal hearings are not typically held. If a public hearing is requested, it may be held at IDEM's discretion.

Once a permitting decision is made, IDEM will distribute the permit to the applicant, the operator, the county health department, the county planning commission, the solid waste district, each participating land owner and the Allen County Public Library (as a result of a long standing request by an environmental group).

A notice of decision will be sent to all affected parties, summarizing the permit and notifying them that a copy of the permit may be viewed at the IDEM file room or at the local county health department. The notice of decision also will explain how IDEM's permitting decision may be appealed.

How can you participate in the process when IDEM is considering issuing a permit to land apply sanitary wastewater from septic systems or portable sanitary units?

  • What:
    • Regulates entities that land apply certain materials.
  • Applicant Responsibilities:
    • Notify adjoining property owners/occupants.
  • IDEM Responsibilities:
    • Notify local officials, health department, planning commission, solid waste management district and interested parties of application.
    • Provide notice of decision to potentially affected parties.
  • Public Notice:
    • Published in a local newspaper.
  • Public Comment:
    • Period 30 days.
  • Public Meeting:
    • May be held by request.
  • Other Important Considerations:
    • IDEM has 180 days to issue a decision on a new permit.

Sanitary wastewater comes from septic systems, holding tanks, portable toilets, and other facilities not connected to a sanitary sewer system. This wastewater must be dealt with, and is generally trucked to private or municipal wastewater treatment plants or disposed by land applying it as a fertilizer. IDEM issues permits to the businesses that haul wastewater. Wastewater disposal permits also are issued for the sites where the material is land applied, as well as, for any wastewater storage or treatment facilities. Before it is land applied, the wastewater is treated to reduce the level of disease-causing organisms.

There are no time requirements to issue business permits, vehicle numbers or storage/treatment permits. IDEM is allowed 180 days to issue a new land application site permit. All permits for the management of septic or sanitary wastewater expire on the last day of February every third year.

IDEM notifies county and local officials, and the county health department. The applicant is required to notify local officials, health departments, adjoining property owners and occupants of any application for a new permit. Permit renewals do not require notification. The applicant must also provide a list of potentially affected parties.

There are no public notice requirements or any public comment period for these types of permits. There also are no public meetings or public hearings required. The permit writer may meet informally with anyone wishing to view the application or learn more about the permit request. The application also may be viewed at the IDEM file room.

If a permit is issued, a copy will be sent to the applicant, local county officials and the county board of health. Upon request, the county planning office also will be provided with a copy. A notice of decision will be sent to the adjoining property owners, the affected parties, and other interested parties. The notice of decision will summarize the permit, listing that it may be viewed at the IDEM file room or at the local health department, and provide information on how IDEM’s permitting decision may be appealed.

How can you participate in the process when IDEM is considering issuing an approval for a confined feeding operation?

  • What:
    • Regulates the storage of animal waste.
  • Applicant Responsibilities:
    • Notify adjoining property owners/occupants within 10 days of application.
  • IDEM Responsibilities:
    • Notify local officials of application.
    • Provide notice of decision to potentially affected parties.
  • Public Notice:
    • Published in a local newspaper.
  • Public Comment:
    • Period 30 days.
  • Public Meeting:
    • May be held by request.
  • Other Important Considerations:
    • IDEM has 90 days to issue a decision.
    • Petitions for review or appeal must be submitted to the IN Office of Environmental Adjudication within 18 days of decision.

Any new animal feeding operation (Animal Feeding Operation Fact Sheet available on the IDEM Fact Sheets page) designed to confine at least 300 cattle, 600 swine or sheep, or 30,000 fowl in structures where they are fed and maintained at least 45 days during any year, must be approved by IDEM before construction and operation. Approvals are also required for existing operations expanding. In addition, smaller farms that have caused water quality violations are mandated to seek state approval.

The central focus of a confined feeding operation approval process is to verify the manure storage structures are designed to be structurally sound and watertight. Additionally, the process ensures the farm has access to adequate acreage to accommodate manure recycling in a manner that will work with crop nutrient demand and soil fertility levels. IDEM must act upon requests for confined feeding approvals within 90 days.

Any farmer applying for a "first time" confined feeding approval for a new or existing facility must notify adjoining land owners and occupants, as well as the county commissioners within ten days of submitting an application. Applicants for confined feeding approvals must also submit a list of potentially affected parties that, at minimum, must include all adjoining property owners and occupants notified by the applicant, as well as the county commissioners.

If significant interest is generated by the applicant's notice to adjoining property owners and occupants, IDEM will place a copy of the application in the nearest public library and publish a public notice in a local newspaper. The notice will describe the proposed confined feeding project and location, announce that there will be a 30 day public comment period, mention that the application may be viewed at the library and advise how to submit comments or request a public meeting or hearing.

If the request is granted for a public meeting or hearing is granted the public comment period may also be extended. This is especially true if it is alleged that those affected by the project were unaware of the comment period, and want more time to comment.

Once IDEM reviews the application and holds any public meetings, hearings, or comment periods it deems necessary, a decision will be made. If a confined feeding approval is granted, IDEM will notify the county commissioners and the county health department of the affected county. In addition, IDEM will notify all the persons on the list of affected parties. The notification will also include information on how to appeal IDEM’s decision. For a list of pending confined feeding construction applications, check IDEM’s Web site.

Can you participate in the process when IDEM is considering issuing an approval for a waste tire storage or waste tire processing facility?

  • What:
    • Regulates facilities that store and process waste tires.
  • Applicant Responsibilities:
    • Notify adjoining property owners/occupants within 10 days of application.
  • IDEM Responsibilities:
    • Provide notice of decision to potentially affected parties.
  • Public Notice:
    • Adjoining property owners through U.S. Postal Service.
  • Public Comment Period:
    • No formal period.
  • Public Meeting:
    • None.
  • Other Important Considerations:
    • IDEM has 30 days to process a new application.
    • Renewals must be submitted 60 days prior to expiration.
    • Good for 5 years.

Facilities storing or processing waste tires must obtain a certificate of registration from IDEM, which is valid for five years. IDEM has 30 days to process waste tire registration applications. Applications for renewal must be submitted 60 days prior to the expiration date of the current certificate.

Applicants for waste tire storage or waste tire processing certificates of registration are required to notify all adjoining property owners or occupants within ten days of the application’s submission. Applicants also provide a list of adjoining property owners that were notified, as well any other party that could be considered potentially affected by the waste tire operation.

If a waste tire storage or processing certificate of registration is issued to the applicant, IDEM will mail a notice of decision to all adjoining property owners and potentially affected parties. That notice will describe the waste tire facility and provide information on how to file an appeal.

For a list of approved waste tire transporters and processors, see IDEM’s Web site.

Can you participate in an approval for a beneficial use demonstration project/legitimate use exemption?

In some cases, there is a legitimate use for solid waste, such as geotechnical fill (for example: base for road building, parking lot or floor slab) or some other use that involves placing a solid waste in the environment outside of a landfill. Regulation allows the Commissioner to approve the use of any solid waste for legitimate purposes if it is determined that it does not pose a threat to public health or the environment.

Traditionally, legitimate use approvals have been given on a case-by-case basis. There is no public notice requirement for legitimate use projects, but if a citizen has a concern about a particular project, they may contact the IDEM at (800) 451-6027 or (317) 308-3103.