Technical Review Panel

During the course of some remediation projects, technical disagreements between Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) project managers and external entities arise. These disputes can cause delays and frustration on both sides of the issue. IDEM wants to enable remediation sites to move forward in a timely manner and to provide external entities with a forum outside the Office of Land Quality (OLQ) to help resolve technical disagreements.

Therefore, the agency has developed a mechanism for settling technical disagreements. It will utilize a Technical Review Panel comprised of approximately 12 IDEM scientists from outside OLQ with expertise in commonly encountered technical issues. When a dispute arises, IDEM will assemble a small group of those scientists with the appropriate expertise to help settle the dispute.

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

The technical review process will be as follows:

  • If an IDEM project manager and an external party cannot agree on a technical issue within a reasonable time, the IDEM project manager will elevate the dispute to Remediation Services Branch managers and senior Science Services Branch technical staff for review.
  • If the dispute is not resolved after the above review, the external party may contact the branch chief of the Remediation Services Branch at (317) 232-4535 or scp@idem.IN.gov and request the issue be reviewed by the Technical Review Panel.
  • Each side—the IDEM project manager and the external party—will provide the Technical Review Panel with a short written summary of their technical viewpoints prior to participating in an informal discussion with the panel. The panel will then provide written recommendations.

Note: Any decision produced by the Technical Review Panel is not an agency action as defined in Indiana Code (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).