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IDEM Releases Long-Awaited Remediation Closure Guide for Public Comment

06.01.2011

On May 6, 2011, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (“IDEM”) released for public comment a draft Remediation Closure Guide (“RCG”) that will have a significant role in how remedial investigations and closures of contaminated sites are performed in Indiana. A copy of the draft RCG (Non-Rule Policy Document Number WASTE-0046-R1) is available at http://www.in.gov/idem/6683.htm. The draft RCG is the product of a multi-year process conducted by IDEM that included cooperation with and input from various stakeholder groups. The draft RCG provides significant changes and new guidance for the investigation, remedy selection, and closure of contaminated sites managed under Indiana’s remediation programs including the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Program, the State Cleanup Program, the Voluntary Remediation Program, the Indiana Brownfields Program, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) Subtitle C Permitting and Corrective Action Programs, and the RCRA Subtitle D Closure of Surface Impoundments Program.

The RCG is intended to update and incorporate developments in risk assessment science and methodology into the current Risk Integrated System of Closure (“RISC”) Technical Guidance Document originally approved in 2001 as a non-rule policy document. Once finalized, the RCG will supersede the RISC Technical Guidance Document. According to IDEM, the draft RCG was developed with the following project objectives in mind:

  • Bring risk assessment methodology up to date;
  • Incorporate guidance for evaluating vapor intrusion and recreational exposure scenarios;
  • Implement House Enrolled Act 1162 amendments to the voluntary remediation program statutes, including new guidance on remedies which manage risks and control completed or potential exposure pathways (discussed in more detail at http://www.binghammchale.com/environotes/Feb10_.asp#act1162);
  • Streamline the text to improve overall clarity and consistency of application; and
  • Incorporate a “weight of evidence” approach for site-specific risk assessments.

IDEM is currently receiving public comments regarding the draft RCG until July 20, 2011. Once the comment period is closed, IDEM intends to respond to public comments and then present the revised RCG to the Indiana Solid Waste Management Board by November 15, 2011 for approval as a non-rule policy document. In addition to the development of the draft RCG, IDEM is currently finalizing a companion document, the Program Guide, that will replace the current RISC User’s Guide. In addition to providing program-specific information regarding application of the RCG, the Program Guide will set forth IDEM’s transition policy for remediation sites currently operating under the RISC Technical Guidance Document. According to IDEM staff, the Program Guide will be released to the public at the end of July or early August 2011.

Interested parties can submit comments regarding the draft RCG by mail to Lora McKee, Office of Land Quality, 100 North Senate Avenue, Room 1101, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 or by email to LMcKee@idem.in.gov.

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