There are several ways to stay informed and participate in permit decisions for a specific facility or for air permitting activities in a specific county:
- Ask IDEM’s Office of Air Quality (OAQ) to place you on the Interested Parties Mailing List, which is a list of people who have requested notification of permitting actions for one or more sources or counties.
- Monitor or subscribe to Public Notices for information about draft permits, submitting comments, requesting a public hearing, and any scheduled public hearings. Monitor or subscribe to IDEM’s News and Events Calendar for times and locations of informational public meetings that do not require a public notice.
- Submit comments:
- The timeframe for submitting formal written comments to OAQ is usually 30 days. Timeframes are stated in public notices.
- Public hearings are formal proceedings that provide the public with an opportunity to speak on the record (referred to as oral testimony) in addition to submitting written comments. OAQ uses discretion granted in regulations when determining whether to schedule a public hearing. A public hearing may be appropriate, particularly when there is significant public interest in a draft permit. If a public hearing is held, the public comment period may be extended. OAQ does not respond to comments during the formal public hearing. In some cases, OAQ may hold an informational public meeting before a public hearing, or instead of a public hearing, to explain the permitting process and answer citizens' questions in an informal public setting. Note: when public hearings or informational meetings are held, every effort is made to schedule them at a convenient time and location for affected residents.
- U.S. EPA has the authority to object to certain Part 70 (Title V) level permits issued by OAQ. The public may participate in U.S. EPA’s permitting process.
- OAQ provides a formal response to comments with its final decisions. Comments that are most likely to affect an air permit decision are those that concern air emission requirements that apply to the source, the wording of permit conditions, air quality issues, technical issues, and Indiana’s rules for the air permitting process. OAQ does not have authority to address certain issues.
Final permit decisions may be appealed by any person who is aggrieved by, or disagrees with, the final action. The Indiana Office of Environmental Adjudication (OEA) handles appeals and provides a guide to the appeals process. OAQ final decisions include instructions and a timeframe for submitting a petition to OEA.
The Citizens’ Guide to IDEM contains additional information about public participation and processes for environmental permits, cleanups, reports, plans and rules.