IDEM’s Office of Land Quality (OLQ) issues permits, registrations, or approvals to ensure solid waste, hazardous waste, manure, biosolids, and septage are properly managed, disposed, or land applied as allowed by the rules and statutes. When a permit application is received from a facility, IDEM reviews it to determine if it complies with the rules. IDEM follows certain procedures and timeframes for processing depending upon the different types of permit applications. Generally, the review process can take anywhere from 30 days to a year. We encourage the applicants to contact OLQ staff before submitting a new permit application to make sure they understand the process and the rule requirements.
Different rules require either the facility and/or IDEM to notify the adjoining property owners and interested parties. Typically, IDEM also notifies certain public officials (e.g., mayors and local health departments). You may write to the OLQ Permits staff or to your local officials and state legislators to state your thoughts about the proposal.
IDEM permits do not replace other permits that may be required by other federal, state or local agencies. A permit or registration is a legally binding document that establishes the waste management activities that a facility can conduct and the conditions under which it can conduct them. The permit/registration outlines or references facility design, process information, emergency plans, and employee training plans. After the permits/registrations are issued, IDEM monitors the facility to ensure that it is complying with the conditions of the permit/registration.
Only permitted or regulated facilities may accept regulated waste materials, unless the waste materials are exempt from the rules for certain recycling, reuse, or reclamation activities.
Types of Regulated Waste Facilities
All of the following activities or facilities are regulated by statutes or rules for solid waste, hazardous waste, toxic control substance act (TSCA) waste, used oil, septage, biosolids, etc. The types of facilities are listed under the waste program below. Please note a facility may have various types of wastes and could need multiple permits or registrations.
- Processing and Transfer Stations
- Alternate Fuel Source
- Facilities burning solid wastes with certain fuel values
- Biomass Digesters and Gasification Facilities
- Facilities that process biomass and appropriate feedstock through a digester or gasifier to recover energy or a reusable product must have registration from OLQ.
- Vegetative and Organic materials Composting Facilities
- Facilities that compost vegetative matter and certain organic matter need a registration approval from IDEM. All other waste composting facilities need a solid waste processing facility permit.
- Collection Container Systems
- The operator of a collection container system must file a notification with IDEM and receive approval before beginning operation. (329 IAC 12)
- Medical & Infectious Waste Treatment Facilities
- Mobile Home Salvaging Facilities
- Businesses that salvage parts and metals from mobile homes that are no longer suitable for use are required to have a registration from OLQ.
- Landfills (Land Disposal Facilities)
- Waste Tires Operations
- Waste tire transporters, storage facilities (except those that store below a certain number), and processers are required to have a registration from OLQ before beginning operation).
- Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) Surface Impoundments
- Biosolids Land Application
- The use of biosolids, some industrial waste products and pollutant-bearing water as a soil amendment or as fertilizer requires a permit from IDEM.
- Managing (including haulers), storing, or land applying Septage.
- Certain Generators (depending on amount and length of storage of waste)
- Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facilities
- Remediation Activities (Corrective Action)
IDEM oversees the requirements for the removal, transport, storage, treatment and disposal of septage from sewage disposal systems. IDEM issues 3 types of permits for managing septage: land applying, storing, or treating septage.
- Used Oil, unless generators, transporters, handlers, and re-refineries
- PCB and Other TSCA Waste storage and processing facilities
- Electronic Waste (E-Waste)
Solid Waste (SW) and Hazardous Waste (HW) programs each have a permitting/approval process. The SW Permit, Registration Approval Process and HW Permit Process and Public Notice [PDF] provide general steps involved in getting a permit/approval. Certain activities only have rule requirements as they do not need IDEM approval. IDEM inspects these facilities for compliance with the rules.
Closure of Units
At the end of the operation, a unit and/or facility will need to close the unit(s) by properly removing and disposing all remaining waste and decontaminating or waste in-place closure.
There are two types of closures:
- Closure by removal (this includes removal or decontamination)
- This could be clean closure or risk based closure. It refers to the process of removing all waste from a unit and any releases at, or from, the unit to protect human health and the environment.
- Closure with waste or contamination remaining in place.
- This requires measures, referred to as controls, to prevent public exposure. The two types of controls are engineered controls and institutional controls. Land disposal units use engineered controls such as capping and post-closure maintenance of liners and final covers, leachate collection and removal systems, leak detection systems, and gas collection systems. The standard post-closure care period is 30 years, but it can be extended, if appropriate. Institutional controls such as land use or deed restrictions are used to ensure future property owners are aware of any limitations on redevelopment and stabilized contaminants are not disturbed.
Most operating facilities units must have a closure plan. The plan details include the amount of waste kept on site, a schedule of closure the unit(s), a schedule of closure for the facility, the planned methods for closing each unit, and the planned methods for closing the entire facility. The closure plan for permitted facilities and certain operating facilities must be approved by IDEM. This approved plan must be followed when the facility ceases operation of a unit or facility.
IDEM approval is required to properly close inactive wastewater surface impoundments, including Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) surface impoundments. CCR units must also comply with the federal Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) rule (40 CFR 257 Subpart D). Indiana has adopted the federal rules for CCR surface impoundments by reference at 329 IAC 10-9-1. Closure can be removal of waste or by closing in place with a final cover system and ground water monitoring.