IDEM Issues Air Permitting Annual Report
By Jennifer Thompson, Attorney, Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP
On November 2, 2011, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (“IDEM”) presented its Report to the Air Pollution Control Board on Air Permitting Programs (“Report”). IDEM is required by statute to make an annual report to the Board on various aspects of its air permit program, including Title V fees and the Title V Trust Fund, evaluation of the actions taken to improve the process of issuing air permits, and streamlined enforceable operating agreements. The Report summarizes these activities during the State’s Fiscal Year 2011 (July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011) (“FY11”).
The Report states that IDEM’s Office of Air Quality (“OAQ”) received a total of 1,235 permit applications in FY11, of which 122 were modifications to existing Title V permits and 72 were applications for first time Title V operating permits. The Report also details certain changes made by OAQ in processing and reviewing permit applications. For instance, IDEM no longer has administrative staff issue administrative Notice of Deficiencies (“NODs”). Instead the permit writer assigned to the permit application now handles both administrative and technical deficiencies. According to the Report, OAQ issued 497 NODs in FY11.
In the financial section of the Report, IDEM reports FY11 Title V Permit Program spending at $12,328,749 and collection of fees at $12,225,014. Additionally, IDEM expended $9,481,815 in salary and benefits. IDEM also reports that no permit fees were refunded under the permit review accountability rules in FY11 because IDEM made no late permit decisions.
The Report also discusses IDEM’s priorities for the next year which include: continuous improvement to permit efficiency, permit renewals, and addressing economic development permits.