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IDEM Meeting Yields Valuable Insight On Remediation Closure Guide Implementation

07.09.2012

On June 20, 2012, Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) staff conducted an informational session that included presentations regarding various topics related to the agency’s recently issued Remediation Closure Guide (RCG) nonrule policy document.  The RCG provides IDEM guidance related to the investigation, remediation and regulatory closure of contaminated properties in IDEM’s remediation programs and is available at http://www.in.gov/idem/files/remediation_closure_guide.pdf. The RCG became effective on March 22, 2012.  During the June 20, 2012 presentations, IDEM staff provided valuable information regarding how the agency implements and interprets the RCG’s provisions related to plume stability demonstrations, exposure point concentration alternatives, vapor intrusion screening and sampling, the use of environmental restrictive covenants (ERC) and environmental restrictive ordinances (ERO) as institutional controls, soil direct contact exposure assessments and an explanation of the screening level tables provided in Table A-6 of the RCG.

During IDEM’s presentations, agency staff provided information on a few key developments related to the RCG.  First, IDEM staff indicated that the agency plans to publish an errata to the RCG that corrects and makes certain changes to the guidance document.  IDEM anticipates the errata will be published in July 2012. 

Second, during a presentation regarding the use of institutional controls to obtain regulatory closure, IDEM staff indicated that the agency is currently conducting field audits of sites subject to ERCs in order to determine whether the sites are in compliance with applicable restrictions.  According to IDEM staff, although the agency does not currently have the resources to conduct comprehensive audits of all sites subject to ERCs, the IDEM is conducting compliance checks on randomly selected sites which include reviews of county and online records to ensure ERCs have been properly recorded as well as random site visits to determine if ERC restrictions and obligations are being complied with and to collect documentation of any noncompliant property uses or conditions.  According to IDEM staff, audits have revealed instances of noncompliance with ERC provisions including prohibited residential property uses, unrecorded ERCs and prohibited excavation and removal of soils.  IDEM staff indicated that while the agency’s enforcement authority is unclear, IDEM intends to develop a policy and program designed to identify compliance issues and enforce the restrictions set forth in institutional controls.

Finally, IDEM staff indicated that the screening levels provided in Table A-6 of the RCG will be updated in January 2013.  Any revisions to the screening levels will be based on the U.S. EPA’s Regional Screening Levels in effect on December 31, 2012.  Consistent with the statement in the RCG, IDEM confirmed that it intends to update the screening levels annually.      

A recording of IDEM’s presentations and copies of all related materials will be made available at IDEM’s website (www.idem.in.gov) approximately one week after the presentations.  For questions regarding the presentations or to request copies of presentation materials, interested parties may contact Laura Steadham, Chief, Science Services Branch, Office of Land Quality at 317-232-8866 or lsteadha@idem.in.gov


To view a complete PDF of the May/June 2012 issue of the Environmental Letter, click HERE.

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