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The Office of Environmental Adjudication (OEA) was created in 1995 to review the decisions of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). The petitions fall into one of two categories: the appeal of enforcement actions brought by IDEM or the appeal of an IDEM decision to issue or deny a permit.
Appeals of enforcement actions concern violations of the following environmental laws of the State of Indiana:
- Air pollution control laws (as defined in IC 13-11-2-6)
- Water pollution control laws (as defined in IC 13-11-2-261)
- Environmental management laws (as defined in 13-11-2-71)
- Solid waste management laws (under IC 13-19)
Appeals of permitting actions involve the following three primary areas: water quality, air quality, and land quality. IC 13-15-6.
The OEA receives approximately 300 petitions for administrative review each year. These are heard by one of the two environmental law judges employed by the agency. Some cases may involve multiple parties and a number of complex legal and technical issues that affect the entire state or regional environment and may take several years to resolve.
The OEA director, who also serves as the agency's chief environmental law judge, is selected by the Governor from a list of candidates recommended by a five-member panel appointed pursuant to criteria described in IC 4-21.5-7-4.