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Land Application Permits and Notifications

Land Application Permits

IDEM’s Office of Land Quality issues permits for:

  • Land application of biosolids, industrial waste products, and pollutant-bearing water:
    • Site-specific permits identify the land on which the materials or liquids will be applied (327 IAC 6.1-4-4)
    • Nonsite-specific permits identify the counties in which the biosolids or industrial waste products will be land applied (327 IAC 6.1-4-5)
    • Hybrid permits are a type of nonsite-specific permits in which some sites are identified in the permit (327 IAC 6.1-4-5.5).
    • For exclusion from this rule (please note this exclusion is not for Marketing and distribution permit), please see 327 IAC 6.1-1-3(c).
  • Land application of agricultural lime substitute (327 IAC 6.1-6-1) or small quantities of pollutant-bearing water (327 IAC 6.1-7.5-1) may be eligible for notification and not require a permit if eligibility criteria in the land application rules are met.
  • Marketing and distribution of dewatered, high-quality biosolids and/or industrial waste products (327 IAC 6.1-5)
  • Construction of storage structures for biosolids or industrial waste products  (327 IAC 6.1-8)

Permit Process

Permit applicants must:

  • Submit the proper permit application (available on the IDEM Forms page) and attachments requested on the form to the Office of Land Quality (OLQ) at least 180 days prior to beginning the proposed operation or activity (327 IAC 6.1-3-1). Requested attachments may include, but are not limited to, a list of potentially affected persons and data that ensures the materials and/or liquids are eligible to be applied on the land according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and IDEM standards.
  • Notify in writing all adjacent landowners and occupants of site-specific application sites within 10 working days after the date of application submittal.
  • Receive approval from IDEM before beginning the proposed operation.

There are no application fees. Initial land application permits are valid for five years and can be renewed for up to 10 years, in most cases. Renewal permit applications must be submitted 180 days prior to the expiration of the current permit.


Permit holders are required to submit monthly reports within 30 days of the end of the report month. For example, a May report is due by June 30. All monthly reports should be submitted to the Land Application reports email. Reporting instructions are available:

Public Notice

When IDEM receives a permit application the agency may, under certain circumstances,  activity announcing its availability for public review and a minimum 30-day public comment period.

Notice of Decision

IDEM will review the application and all public comments received. The agency typically reaches a final decision within 180 days of receipt of an application. When IDEM issues a final decision, staff will mail a Notice of Decision to potentially affected persons identified by the applicant, as well as local officials and any other parties who submitted comments or requested notification. On certain type of permits, IDEM will publish a notice in the newspaper of widest general circulation in the counties for which land application is approved announcing the decision. The Notice of Decision and newspaper publication include instructions for filing a formal appeal.


Land application and Marketing and Distribution permits are transferable from the current permit holder (permittee) to another person. To transfer a land application permit, the parties must notify IDEM in writing at least 45 days before the proposed date of the transfer by submitting to IDEM a written agreement specifying the date of the transfer, and establishing that the permittee is responsible for compliance with the permit up to that date, while the transferee is responsible for compliance after the transfer date. Both parties must sign the agreement (327 IAC 6.1-3-5).

Notification Process

For activities that are eligible for notification, the applicant must complete and submit the proper notification form (available on the IDEM Forms page) and attachments requested on the form to the Office of Land Quality at least 30 days prior to the proposed commencement of operation. For each subsequent year in which the material or liquid will be applied, this form must be submitted by January 31.

To be eligible for notification:

  • Land application of an agricultural lime substitute must meet the notification criteria in 327 IAC 6.1-6-1, which require the material to:
    • Have a calcium carbonate equivalency greater than 50% OR have a calculated adjusted lime rate of 2 tons per acre or less using a recommended agricultural lime rate of 1 ton per acre and a depth factor of 0.75.
    • Contain no biosolids.
    • Not be an unprocessed fly ash, cement kiln dust, or alum sludge from a water treatment facility.
    • Have pollutant concentrations that are less than the concentrations in Table 1 in 327 IAC 6.1-4-9(a) and Table 3 in 327 IAC 6.1-4-9(c).
    • Have a concentration of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) of less than 2 mg/kg on a dry weight basis.
  • Land application of small quantities of pollutant-bearing water must meet notification criteria in 327 IAC 6.1-7.5-1, which require the liquid to:
    • Be applied at a rate of less than two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) gallons per year.
    • Be applied at a rate of less than five thousand (5,000) gallons per acre per week.
    • Be applied at a rate of less than fifty thousand (50,000) gallons per acre per year.
    • Be applied a pollutant-bearing water that contains less than or equal to one thousand (1,000) pounds per million gallons of plant available nitrogen. Plant available nitrogen is calculated using the formula in 327 IAC 6.1-7-1(f).
    • Not be domestic wastewater.
    • Not exceed pollutant concentration in Table 10 in 327 IAC 6.1-7-1(d).
  • Proposed storage structures must meet the notification criteria in 327 IAC 6.1-8, which require the structure to:
    • Meet the site restrictions in 327 IAC 6.1-8-3(a).
    • Meet the performance and construction standards for structures storing liquid biosolids, industrial waste product, and pollutant-bearing water in 327 IAC 6.1-8-4.
    • Meet the performance and construction standards for structures storing dewatered biosolids and industrial waste product in 327 IAC 6.1-8-5.


The IDEM Types of Biosolids Land Application Permits [PDF] guidance document summarizes what type of land application permit to apply for and pathogen and vector attraction reduction limitations.

For Assistance

For assistance or more information about land application permitting or regulatory requirements, please contact the Land Application staff in the Office of Land Quality.