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Technical Guidance for Cleanups

Risk-based Closure Guide

The Risk-based Closure Guide (available on the IDEM Effective Nonrule Policies page) describes selected approaches to investigation and risk-based closure of contaminated or potentially contaminated sites. The guide’s purpose is to provide for consistent application of Indiana Code (IC) 13-12-3-2 and IC 13-25-5-8.5, which form the statutory basis for risk-based cleanup in Indiana.

Screening Level Tables

Screening levels are concentrations of chemicals in soil, ground water, or air that the Office of Land Quality has determined are acceptable under specific conditions. Current and previous screening level tables are available for download in PDF or XLS format.

Remediation Program Guide

The following remediation program guides (also available on the IDEM Effective Nonrule Policies page) provide administrative process guidance and regulatory requirements for each program and are companions to the Risk-based Closure Guide technical guidance document.

Background Surface Soil Levels

IDEM and the Midwestern States Environmental Consultants Association partnered with Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis in September 2013 to test soil in Terre Haute, Indiana for background levels of certain constituents. The results of this study were published in the Background Lead, Arsenic and Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons Surface Soil Levels [PDF]. Soil tests in Indianapolis, Indiana were completed in June and July 2017. The results of this study were published in the Background Lead and Arsenic Surface Soil Levels [PDF].

Household Chemical Products

Many household consumer products contain chlorinated or petroleum-based chemicals. The Office of Land Quality has provided this information for both vapor intrusion investigation and consumer informational purposes. Before collecting indoor air samples, we recommend that this information be shared with the appropriate building occupants to aid in determining if any indoor consumer products might be present and potentially off-gassing to indoor air. It might be helpful to even include these lists in the investigators' Indoor Air Building Survey Checklists.

Guidance Documents

Three categories of guidance documents provide some of the best ways to investigate and clean up contamination in soil and ground water. They differ from the Remediation Closure Guide in that they do not include rules or requirements.

  1. Site Characterization and Sampling Guidance:
    • These documents explain how and where to investigate chemicals in soil and ground water. They also show what kind of contamination might be found and where it might go.
  2. Risk Evaluation:
    • These documents define what amount of a chemical will require more investigation. They also show how to determine whether the contamination is a hazard.
  3. Remedy Selection and Implementation:
    • These documents explain how to choose the best cleanup plan for the site. They also show how to maintain the site during long-term monitoring and restricted closures.
  4. Remediation Program Landfills and Open Dumps [ZIP]
    • This document explains how to obtain closure for a landfill or open dump where solid waste disposal has occurred.
  5. Contained-in Determination Criteria for Live Loading Soil [PDF]
    • This guidance document is to describe when live loading contaminated soil for management using the IDEM “Contained-in” Determination Policy is appropriate and to describe the requirements to conduct that activity.

Technical Review Panel

IDEM has developed a pilot mechanism for handling technical disagreements between OLQ staff and external entities regarding the State Cleanup Program and the Voluntary Remediation Program. The Technical Review Panel page provides more details.

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