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Environmental Law Alert - IDEM Significantly Revised Draft Remediation Closure Guidance and Major Step Towards Final Adoption
Tuesday, January 10, 2012

This Alert further updates you on important developments regarding the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s (IDEM) draft Remediation Closure Guide (RCG) and Remediation Program Guide (RPG). Earlier today (Jan. 6, 2012), IDEM released significant changes to both Guides based on comments it had received last year. Today’s announcement is a major step towards finalizing both Guides. IDEM is providing an additional 30-day comment period for “any significant issues or concerns with the revised documents.” Comments on the draft Guides are due Feb. 6, 2012. IDEM also intends to present both Guides and all comments to the Solid Waste Management Board for final adoption on Feb. 21, 2012. A copy of both guides can be viewed and downloaded at: http://www.in.gov/idem/4694.htm.

IDEM released the draft RCG on May 6, 2011, and accepted comments through July 20. Barnes & Thornburg LLP and certain members of the Midwestern States Environmental Consulting Association, who has been working closely with IDEM over the last two years, and other stakeholders submitted extensive comments. We understand that IDEM has made some changes based on our collective comments to key sections of the RCG that address plume behavior, vapor intrusion, and screening levels. IDEM also released today a 123-page response to comments matrix on the RCG.

IDEM released the draft RPG for public comment on Oct. 4, 2011, and accepted comments through Nov. 18. Barnes & Thornburg LLP provided the only comments to the draft RPG. Unlike the comments to the RCG, IDEM has not released a separate response to our comments and instead has apparently made revisions directly to the RPG. We understand that IDEM has clarified its transition policy that describes how it would be determined if sites would continue to be subject to the pre-existing guidance or the new RCG and RPG Guides. IDEM’s transition policy has been the source of controversy and confusion and we hope that the revised RPG will provide further clarity.

As we have in the past, Barnes & Thornburg LLP is coordinating a group of key stakeholders to collectively work on and fund comments. We will also closely examine the revised Guides and response to comments in connection with the RCG. Please stay tuned for additional information about how to join these efforts. We encourage all stakeholders to attend and provide comments or feedback directly to the Solid Waste Management Board on Feb. 21, 2012. The Board meeting will be held at 1:30 p.m. at Indiana Government Center South, Conference Center Room A, 402 West Washington Street in Indianapolis.

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