Integrated Water Monitoring and Assessment Report

Section 305(b) of the Clean Water Act (CWA) requires the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) to assess and report on whether Indiana waters support the beneficial uses designated in Indiana’s water quality standards. IDEM’s CWA Section 305(b) assessments are made in accordance with IDEM’s Consolidated Assessment and Listing Methodology (CALM) by comparing existing and readily available water quality data to the applicable water quality criteria in the State’s water quality standards.

The large majority of the data IDEM uses in its 305(b) assessments are collected by IDEM staff using a rotating basin approach. IDEM has divided Indiana into nine major water management basins and monitors one major basin each year. IDEM staff assess the data collected in each basin the following year.

In addition to agency-collected data, IDEM solicits data through its External Data Framework from external organizations and agencies, including the United States Geological Survey, Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and the Indiana State Department of Health. IDEM also solicits water quality data from other colleges, universities and local organizations, such as county health departments, watershed management groups and cities and towns.

IDEM’s water quality assessment results are reported to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) every two years through the Indiana Integrated Water Monitoring and Assessment Report, which describes the condition of Indiana’s lakes, streams, ground water and its Lake Michigan shoreline.

Indiana’s 2018 Integrated Water Monitoring And Assessment Report

IDEM published the notice of public comment period for its draft 2018 303(d) List of Impaired Waters, in the Indiana Register on April 11, 2018, formally opening the 90-day public comment period. IDEM received no comments on the draft 2018 303(d) list or the Consolidated Assessment and Listing Methodology (CALM) used to develop prior to the close of the public comment period on July 10, 2018. IDEM submitted its 2018 Integrated Report, including the finalized 2018 303(d) List of Impaired Waters to U.S. EPA on August 17, 2018.

For the 2018 cycle, U.S. EPA issued a memorandum focusing primarily on the transition of state water quality assessment reporting systems, including Indiana’s Assessment Database (ADB) to the new, federal Assessment and Total Maximum Daily Load Tracking and Implementation System (ATTAINS) online. U.S. EPA’s goal for this transition is to more effectively analyze and share state water quality assessment information across its water programs and to measure progress toward its Strategic Plan.

For Indiana, this transition promises to streamline the integrated reporting process, achieve some internal data management efficiencies, and result in greater consistency between the water quality information U.S. EPA reports online for Indiana with the information IDEM reports on its own website. While the 2018 Integrated Report was developed primarily from data from the ADB, Indiana will begin using the new ATTAINS system with its submittal of the 2018 Integrated Report.

IDEM provided its full assessment dataset to U.S. EPA on February 8, 2018 for upload to ATTAINS. IDEM considers the integrated reporting requirement to provide Indiana’s water quality assessment data set fulfilled for the 2018 cycle with the data now in ATTAINS. IDEM is currently reviewing the data uploaded to ATTAINS ensure their completeness and working with U.S. EPA to resolve import and errors in the data set that were identified during the upload. In order to provide the most accurate record as possible, IDEM will develop its 2018 Consolidated List (Categories 1-5) after the majority of these issues have been resolved and will provide that list to U.S. EPA as Appendix L of the 2018 Integrated Report.

The remaining components of Indiana’s 2018 Integrated Report were included in IDEM’s August 17, 2018 submittal to U.S. EPA and are provided in the links below and fulfill both CWA Sections 305(b) and 303(d) reporting requirements:

Indiana’s Integrated Water Monitoring and Assessment Reports for Previous Cycles

Indiana’s 2010 Integrated Water Monitoring and Assessment Report and earlier versions are available upon request by contacting IDEM’s Integrated Report Coordinator.