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2019

Pharmaceutical Sewer Ban Effective August 21, 2019

Although Indiana has not completed adoption of the U.S. EPA Pharmaceutical Rule, a portion of the rule prohibiting the flushing of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals becomes effective in all states regardless of whether the state has adopted the rule. The following is an excerpt from the U.S. EPA website on this issue:

“Section 266.505 of title 40 of the CFR prohibits all healthcare facilities and reverse distributors from discharging any hazardous waste pharmaceuticals to a sewer system that passes through to a publicly owned treatment works (POTW). The sewer prohibition applies to RCRA hazardous waste pharmaceuticals that are also controlled substances under the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) regulations and collected household pharmaceuticals (see 40 CFR section 266.506). We note that although the sewer prohibition applies to healthcare facilities and reverse distributors with respect to hazardous waste pharmaceuticals, EPA strongly discourages sewering of any pharmaceutical in any setting (with few exceptions, such as sterile water, 0.9 percent sodium chloride (saline) and Ringer’s lactate solution).”

Additional information is available on the U.S. EPA website.

IDEM and DNR responding to reported fish kill

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) continue to work with the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the federal agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to coordinate the response to a reported fish kill in the East Arm of the Little Calumet River in Portage, Ind.

For questions about this incident, please contact IDEM. Media should contact IDEM's Media Relations Office.

U.S. EPA and IDEM Consider Permit Renewal

Safety-Kleen Systems Inc., East Chicago, Indiana

U.S. EPA and IDEM will accept public comments about the proposed Safety-Kleen PCB treatment and storage permit through Aug. 31. More information is provided on the U.S. EPA website.

Indiana Air Permit Fee Information and Request for Fee Increases for Title V Permit Fees

IDEM’s Office of Air Quality has completed an extensive evaluation of revenues from Title V permit fees, and after careful consideration, and consistent with the provisions of the Indiana General Assembly’s House Enrolled Act 1278 which directs the Environmental Rules Board to approve a fee increase, IDEM is proposing to increase Title V permit fees. This proposed increase is necessary so that IDEM can continue to provide quality permit service in the air program and to ensure that IDEM has sufficient revenue to maintain the other portions of the air program funded through Title V fees.

Underground Storage Tank Pilot Program

IDEM’s Underground Storage Tank (UST) Branch is launching a pilot program [PDF] for characterizing leaking underground storage tank (LUST) releases using high-resolution site characterization tools (HRSC). There is a process for the selection of sites to be included in the program and a checklist [PDF] of primary qualifications.

Indiana Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence are Indiana’s most prestigious environmental recognition awards. They are reserved for the most innovative, sustainable, and exemplary programs or projects that positively impact Indiana’s environment and demonstrate measurable environmental, economic, and social benefits. The 2019 Awards Program will open on January 28, 2019, and nominations will be accepted from 8:00 AM January 28, 2019 until 5:00 PM on April 1, 2019.

Eligibility Requirements

Any Indiana citizen, business, nonprofit organization, school, university, or government agency may submit a nomination or be nominated for the award.

Awards Categories
  • Energy/Renewable Resources;
  • Environmental Education and Outreach;
  • Five year Continuous Improvement;
  • Greening the Government;
  • Land Use/Conservation;
  • Pollution Prevention;
  • Recycling/Reuse;

2018

Hazardous Waste Generator Improvement Rule Update

The Generator Improvement Rule notice was published in the Indiana Register on November 21, 2018. This includes amendments for incorporation by reference of recent United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) rules for hazardous waste generator improvements and import-export of hazardous waste, and technical amendments and corrections to existing hazardous waste requirements. The purpose of this notice is to seek public comment on the draft rule, including suggestions for specific language to be included in the rule. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management seeks comment on the affected citations listed (329 IAC 3.1) and any other provisions of Title 329 that may be affected by this rulemaking. All comments must be postmarked, faxed, or time stamped not later than December 21, 2018. Hand-delivered comments must be delivered to the appropriate office by 4:45 p.m. on the above-listed deadline date. The official publication in the Indiana Register, LSA Document #18-481 [PDF], provides additional information and the specific language of the proposed rule.

Update for the DC Circuit Court Rules on RCRA Definition of Solid Waste

The DC Circuit Court amended its ruling on March 6, 2018. EPA published a final rule to address the Court’s ruling on May 30, 2018. However, because of Indiana’s statute at IC 13-14-9-8(h) that automatically vacates state rules if the related federal rule is vacated, the impact on Indiana’s rule becomes more complicated. The vacated Definition of Solid Waste requirements for the provisions of 40 CFR 260.43(a)(4) and 40 CFR 261.4(a)(24) are removed from Indiana’s rules without being replaced with the May 30, 2018 rule language. As a result, off-site recycling (not within the same company) will be subject to full hazardous waste management requirements for the generator and receiving facility including, but not limited to, manifesting and RCRA Part B permit for the off-site recycling facility. This does not impact on-site recycling by generators or recycling within the same company, under the provisions of 40 CFR 261.4(a)(23).

U.S. Steel Consent Decree

The United States, together with the State of Indiana, announced that U. S. Steel Corporation (U. S. Steel) has agreed to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Water Act and Indiana law by undertaking substantial measures to improve its wastewater processing monitoring system at its steel manufacturing and finishing facility, known as the Midwest Plant, in Portage, Indiana.

IDEM is at the Indiana State Fair

Visit the IDEM booth, located in the DNR building, at the Indiana State Fair. For the #IDEMStateFair ‘word of the day’, follow us on social media:

e-Manifest to Launch June 30, 2018

The U.S. EPA is establishing a national system for tracking hazardous waste shipments electronically. This system, known as “e-Manifest,” will modernize the nation’s cradle-to-grave hazardous waste tracking process while saving valuable time, resources, and dollars for industry and states. The U.S. EPA anticipates launching e-Manifest in June 2018.

2018 Grant Proposals

New Grant Round for the Recycling Market Development Program

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management announces the 2018 grant funding round for the Recycling Market Development Program. Eligible candidates may seek a grant starting at $1,000 and up to $500,000, with a 50 percent required match. Projects should focus on reuse, reduction, and recycling methods that result in an increase in recyclable material collection, a reduction in municipal solid waste shipped for final disposal and/or improved partnerships with communities, including not only economic impacts, but increased public awareness of recycling opportunities through tangible outreach and education efforts.

Deadline for submissions has been extended to June 22, 2018, by 5:00 PM (EDT). Projects should focus on increasing collection, as well as economic development, education, and outreach efforts. Detailed proposal requirements are available on the Recycling Market Development Program page.

Emergency Debris Management

IDEM is in contact and working with facilities across the state affected by recent flooding. Public health officials recommend avoiding contact with surface and flood waters during these times. Those who do come in contact with impacted surface and flood waters should shower or bathe with warm, soapy water. Veterinarians recommend not allowing pets and livestock to drink from or swim in waters visibly impacted by sewage overflows.

For additional information regarding health risks, please contact your local health department.

2017

IDEM Requests Public Input on Volkswagen Settlement Plan

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is asking the public to weigh in on the draft framework of the Volkswagen Settlement Plan that will use Indiana’s portion of the Volkswagen mitigation trust funds to offset the effects of diesel emissions across the state.

U.S. EPA Recognizes Indiana Department of Environmental Management for Achievements at Superfund Sites

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized the Indiana Department of Environmental Management with the State Excellence in Supporting Reuse award for achievements at three Superfund sites. IDEM was recognized for its efforts at the Continental Steel, Lake Sandy Jo (M&M Landfill), and Tippecanoe Sanitary Landfill Superfund sites.

Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) administrator signed the final Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements (HWGI) rule on October 28, 2016. It was published in the Federal Register on November 28, 2016, and it became effective federally on May 30, 2017.

The HWGI rule contains over 60 changes to the hazardous waste program, and IDEM proposes to adopt the entire rule without significant revisions. The U.S. EPA’s Final Rule: HWGI webpage has more information, guidance, and frequently asked questions about the rule.

Since Indiana is authorized for the RCRA program, the HWGI rule will not be effective until it is adopted as a state rule in Indiana. IDEM has initiated the process to adopt the rule, but does not expect it to be in place for several months. When the adoption process has started, you can view its progress on the Title 329 Rulemaking webpage. Send any questions about the HWGI rule to the IDEM OLQ regulatory reporting staff or the IDEM Compliance and Technical Assistance (CTAP) staff.

DC Circuit Court Rules on RCRA Definition of Solid Waste

On July 7, 2017, the D.C. Circuit Court ruled on challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory definition of solid waste (DSW) as amended in 2015. The court ruling addressed two major components of the DSW rule: the verified recycler exclusion was vacated, except for its emergency preparedness provisions and its expanded containment requirements, and the legitimacy criteria dubbed “factor 4” was vacated.

Indiana adopted the DSW rule effective November 5, 2016, and IDEM is evaluating the impact of this ruling to hazardous waste generators and treatment, storage, and disposal facilities. It appears that it currently affects a very small number of facilities. The current federal regulations remain in effect until the Court issues a final mandate. Parties to the court case have been given until October 21, 2017 to file motions regarding the ruling. Please email any questions to olqregulatoryreporting@idem.in.gov.

Indiana Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence

The Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence is Indiana’s highest environmental recognition and is open to all Indiana citizens and organizations.

Innovative and sustainable programs or projects eligible for award include, but are not limited to, those that are demonstrating exemplary environmental, economic, or social benefits achieved by innovative: green infrastructure; initiatives to reduce toxics use; pollution prevention; food waste reduction efforts, recycling and composting programs; “green tech” solutions; initiatives to "green" businesses, farms, schools, health care and hospitality facilities; clean energy projects; and education and training programs.

Submit your nominations to IDEM by no later than 5:00 PM. Friday, July 28, 2017.

Indiana 2018 Annual Ambient Air Monitoring Network Plan

This document details the current air quality monitoring network and proposed changes planned for 2018. The public has the opportunity to submit comments through the COB Wednesday, June 14, 2017.

Honoring Public Servants

May 7, 2017 - May 13, 2017

IDEM is proud to participate in Public Service Recognition Week to honor the men and women who serve our nation as federal, state, county, and local government employees, especially in our state of Indiana. Careers in public service, no matter at what level, help to better the lives of the Hoosiers and all Americans.

IDEM recognizes and commends its staff members for their energy and effort to protect Hoosiers and the environment.

Thank you for your service to the state and citizens of Indiana.

Earth Day Classroom Presentations

In observance of Earth Day, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is offering free hands-on classroom presentations to Indiana elementary schools this April. IDEM employees across all disciplines volunteer to present fun, engaging, and informative presentations that provide students with examples of environmental careers while teaching them about our environment.

Additional information about the classroom presentations as well as registration is available on the Earth Day Celebration: Program Descriptions page. The deadline for schools to request presentations is March 3, 2017.

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