All of us have the responsibility to properly handle and dispose of the wastes we produce in order to protect the environment. Improper handling of wastes may lead to:
- Contamination of land, water, and air
- Damage to plants, animals, and natural resources
- Spread of diseases
- Potential threats to human health
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) wants Indiana citizens, businesses, and industries to be informed. It is important that they get the information and assistance they need to address any issues they might have with managing waste. It may be surprising to learn what IDEM does and does not regulate and has the authority to take action on.
Waste Management Options
The best management option for any waste is to eliminate or minimize the generation of the waste to begin with. Where waste generation cannot be avoided, recycling is preferred to treatment and disposal. However, there are some items which cannot be recycled, and that is where waste management comes in.
IDEM’s Office of Land Quality (OLQ) issues permits to ensure solid waste, hazardous waste, manure, biosolids, and septage are properly managed, disposed, or land applied as allowed/required by the rules and statutes. If IDEM receives a permit application from a facility, IDEM reviews it to determine if it complies with the laws and rules. IDEM generally follows certain procedures and timeframes for processing different types of permit applications.
We encourage the applicants to contact OLQ staff to understand this process and rule requirements before submitting a new permit application. 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, such as mayors and local health departments. You can write to the IDEM permit manager and state your thoughts about the proposal. You also may write your local officials and state legislators.
OLQ compliance inspectors visit regulated facilities to ensure compliance with applicable rules and IDEM's permits and registrations. Facilities not in compliance with the requirements are given a Violation Letter to bring the facility into compliance. Typically, the facilities will be required to come into compliance within a certain period of time; such as 60 days.
If violations are determined to be serious or if the violations are not corrected following the issuance of a Violation Letter, facilities may be subject to formal enforcement.
Please contact us if you need assistance, want to file a complaint, or witness a spill or environmental emergency that should be reported.