Technical Review Panel

IDEM’s Office of Land Quality Technical Review Panel for VRP and State Cleanup Program Technical Disputes

During the course of some remediation projects, technical disagreements between the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) staff and external entities may arise. We recognize that these disputes can often cause project delays and frustration on both sides of the issue. Therefore, the IDEM has developed a mechanism for settling technical disagreements called the Technical Review Panel (Panel). The IDEM assembled a pool of approximately 12 IDEM scientists from outside the Office of Land Quality (OLQ) each having expertise applicable to the technical issues commonly encountered. When the Panel is needed we will assemble a small group of those scientists with the appropriate expertise to help settle the dispute.

The resolution process is as follows: If the IDEM project manager and the external party cannot agree on a technical issue within a reasonable time, the IDEM project manager will elevate the dispute to their Remediation Branch managers and senior Science Service technical staff for review and resolution. If the dispute remains, the external party may contact the Remediation Services Branch Chief directly and request the issue be reviewed by the Panel. Each side will provide the Panel a short written summary of their technical view point prior to participating in an informal discussion with the Panel. The Panel will then provide written recommendations.

The Technical Review Panel is a pilot project and at this time will only be used for disputes between IDEM’s State Cleanup Program and/or Voluntary Remediation Program (VRP) and external parties.

Please be aware that all work performed by the Panel and other IDEM staff in conducting dispute resolution is cost recoverable under IC § 13-25-5-8 (as outlined in in the VRP applicant’s signed Voluntary Remediation Agreement [PDF], section 9. Administrative Costs), IC § 13-25-4 (Hazardous Substances), and IC § 13-24-1 (Petroleum) as governmental oversight of removal or remedial action.

Note: Any decision produced by the Technical Review Panel is not an agency action as defined in IC § 4-21.5-1-4 or an order as defined in IC §4-21.5-1-9. This decision is not subject to administrative review because it is not a determination of any legal rights, duties, privileges, immunities, or other legal interests, and because it is issued pursuant to an informal procedure for dispute resolution as allowed by IC 4-21.5-3-34 (a).

Our goal is to enable remediation sites to move forward in a timely manner and to provide external entities a forum outside the OLQ to help resolve technical disagreements with the VRP and State Cleanup Program.

If you would like to request a review by the Panel, please contact the Remediation Services Branch.