Institutional Controls

The Office of Land Quality (OLQ) uses a system of risk-based closure to address releases of hazardous substances or petroleum. When contamination remains on site or when cleanup has not yet occurred, OLQ may employ a legal or administrative measure called an institutional control. An institutional control protects human health and the environment by restricting property activity, use, or access to minimize exposure to contamination. There are a few different types of institutional controls, but the most common one is the environmental restrictive covenant (ERC). For example, a landowner may agree to not develop a site for residential use and to use it only for commercial or industrial purposes. OLQ provides the following templates for owners to develop ERCs for different types of sites.

IDEM Institutional Controls Registry

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s (IDEM) Institutional Controls Registry is a listing of sites with institutional controls, sorted by county. IDEM updates it about once per month and includes information such as the site name and location, the IDEM cleanup program overseeing the project, and the types of applicable land use restrictions. The registry also has interactive links to institutional control documents in IDEM’s Virtual File Cabinet and aerial images of sites on IndianaMap which includes instructions [PDF].

The Institutional Controls Registry is not a complete list of all closed or contaminated sites. It includes sites where IDEM has approved a risk-based closure decision that incorporated the placement of land use restrictions or obligations, and solid waste sites that require a deed notice under Article 10 of Title 329 of the Indiana Administrative Code (IAC). The registry also includes environmental restrictive covenants approved by the Indiana Brownfields Program in conjunction with the issuance of a comfort or site status letter. Two Institutional Controls Registry summary reports are available:

Environmental Restrictive Covenant Modification/Termination and Cost Recovery

As of July 2016, more than 1,700 environmental restrictive covenants (ERCs) have been recorded on properties throughout Indiana. As site conditions and use evolve, environmental guidance becomes more refined, and properties change hands, it may be necessary to evaluate recorded ERCs and ensure that the land use restrictions in place are appropriate and necessary.

In accordance with Indiana Code 13-14-2-9(c)(3), an ERC may be modified if supporting information is provided. OLQ staff members will use current risk-based policy, recent and historical data, and proposed land use to make a written determination as to the appropriateness of an ERC modification or termination. The determination will either approve the submittal, or OLQ will provide detail for meeting the requirements. If OLQ has recorded an ERC for a closure or release incident, then any modification/termination to that ERC requires OLQ approval.

OLQ requires reimbursement for the administrative and personnel expenses associated with the development of the written determination under 329 IAC 1-2-7 [PDF]. OLQ personnel expenses are $75.00 per hour, and once a written determination is made, an invoice reflecting the actual number of hours spent on the review will be provided. However, OLQ will not issue the written determination until payment for invoiced costs is received.

Individuals who want to request modifications or terminate an ERC must provide written justification and all supporting documentation necessary for OLQ review, including the following completed forms.

Copies of this information may be emailed to, or mailed to:

Indiana Department of Environmental Management
Office of Land Quality Institutional Controls Group
100 North Senate Avenue Room N1101
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2251