IDEM is actively seeking a better understanding of how air toxics affect the health of Hoosiers. Tools such as the ToxWatch Monitoring Network and National Air Toxics Assessment have helped IDEM identify areas that warrant special attention. IDEM has conducted two community-scale air toxics risk asssessments and has plans to conduct more in the future:
- Indiana Lakeshore Air Toxics Screening:
- IDEM is in the early stages of conducting a community-level screening of the Indiana lakeshore region of Lake and Porter Counties. This is one of the most heavily industrialized areas in the nation and is regularly listed as one of the highest risk and hazard areas in the state in the U.S. EPA's NATA. IDEM will release results of this work as they become available.
- IPS School 21 Risk Characterization and Reduction Project:
- The School 21 project was spurred by community concerns and involved 5 years of active air toxics monitoring as well as an extensive modeling effort. No non-cancer hazards were found in the study area. Cancer risk was found to be elevated but still within acceptable levels as defined by the U.S. EPA.
- Southwest Indianapolis Air Toxics Study:
- The Southwest Indianapolis Air Toxics Study was initiated because the 2002 NATA found southwest Indianapolis to have some of the highest air toxics concentrations in the nation. IDEM partnered with U.S. EPA and the City of Indianapolis to better quantify the impact of air toxics in the area. Through two years of monitoring and an extensive modeling effort it was found that southwest Indianapolis' non-cancer hazards and cancer risks were similar to those found in other metropolitan areas around the country.