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One of the many responsibilities of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is to protect the quality of Indiana’s air. This responsibility couldn’t be more important because air quality, or the lack of it, impacts the health of every person in our state every minute of every day. Good air quality helps us live our lives with vitality and energy. Poor air quality can cause harm to living things that are exposed to it.
The Clean Air Act (CAA) of 1970 began years of air quality improvement in our country. Health-based national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) have been and continue to be the foundation of the CAA. These standards are maximum measurements allowed in our air by law, for each pollutant covered by the CAA. IDEM was established in 1986 to assist people and businesses located in Indiana to keep the air in Indiana at or below those standards. The following options offer access to more about how IDEM works to improve the air quality in Indiana.
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) has released The States’ View of the Air (2016) report. This report highlights the air quality in counties and cities in the United States. Like a report card, IDEM has graded areas on the state of their air quality under the federal standards for ozone and fine particles.
In December of 2010 Indiana was faced with modeling over a hundred industrial sources to establish sulfur dioxide (SO2) limits necessary to comply with the one-hour standard. Prior to beginning this effort, I called Chet Wayland, Division Director at the U.S. EPA’s Office of Air Quality, Planning and Standards (OAQPS) and asked how accurate the AERMOD model was. Instead of referring me to other studies, Chet asked us to conduct an analysis to demonstrate the relationship between AERMOD predictions and ambient measurements. This report documents the work carried out to answer this question.
IDEM wants to help the public stay informed about air pollution regulations, where air pollution comes from, how air pollution is controlled, and how Indiana’s air quality compares with national standards. Reports describing Indiana air quality as some of the worst in the nation are untrue. Air Quality 101, a collection of articles from IDEM Assistant Commissioner Keith Baugues, provides accurate information about air pollution in Indiana.