People performing remediation projects in Indiana must be intimately familiar with recent guidance released by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) that describes how IDEM intends to comply with new state legislation governing investigation and cleanup projects in Indiana. A copy of this guidance is attached. IDEM also just announced the availability of a useful IDEM training webinar discussing this guidance. It can be accessed at http://www.webinar.in.gov/train1162 and is approximately two and a half hours long.
The new legislation (referred to as HEA 1162) was passed in the 2009 General Assembly and mandates that IDEM allow more true “risk-based” approaches to remediation projects that use risk management techniques including institutional controls, environmental restrictive covenants, and the newly-created environmental restrictive ordinances. HEA 1162 materially changes how IDEM approaches remediation projects, and the attached guidance describes how IDEM intends to fulfill these new statutory mandates. According to IDEM, the guidance is meant to serve as a bridge between IDEM’s 2001 RISC Technical Resource Guidance Document and a future version of that Tech Guide. For now, the 2001 Tech Guide and the attached guidance will be used in tandem.
The newly-enacted HEA 1162 strengthens the commitment to risk-based remediation by extending these risk-based principles to virtually all state remediation programs. In addition to affecting remedial options, HEA 1162 also affects the investigation phase of remediation projects by allowing investigations which are tailored to develop only that information necessary to perform the remediation.
Barnes & Thornburg attorneys were involved in the development of HEA 1162 and worked with IDEM in connection with the attached guidance. In general, the guidance is a good faith effort by IDEM to incorporate HEA 1162’s legal commands into its programs. Familiarity with HEA 1162 and its implementing guidance is essential for anyone doing remediation work in Indiana. Riskbased remediation projects allowed by HEA 1162 can be much more cost effective than traditional remediation approaches and yet provide comparable protection to human health and the environment.