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The mission of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is to implement federal and state regulations to protect human health and the environment while allowing the environmentally sound operations of industrial, agricultural, commercial and governmental activities vital to a prosperous economy. The mission of IDEM’s Office of Air Quality (OAQ), under the oversight of the Assistant Commissioner of OAQ, is to concentrate on fulfilling IDEM’s mission where air quality is concerned. More specifically, the mission of OAQ is to assure that the air in Indiana meets the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for each of the six criteria pollutants regulated by the federal Clean Air Act (CAA); to provide timely, quality air permits without unnecessary requirements and to verify compliance with applicable state and federal air pollution laws and regulations.
OAQ is comprised of five branches, each with specific air quality responsibilities. Most branches in OAQ are divided into sections that handle certain aspects of branch responsibilities.
The Air Compliance and Enforcement Branch is responsible for determining compliance of regulated sources of air emissions in the State of Indiana through inspection, compliance monitoring, testing, and records review. The primary functions of the branch are to determine compliance at major sources of air pollution, conduct inspections, respond to complaints, review and approve stack tests, review continuous emissions and opacity monitoring, take appropriate enforcement actions for noncompliance, and provide compliance assistance to assure regulated sources understand compliance requirements. The functions also include inspections, review, and enforcement at minor permitted sources, asbestos sources, and exempt sources subject to various air pollution control requirements. Additionally, the branch coordinates and provides oversight of the air compliance and enforcement related activities at the four IDEM regional offices.
The Air Monitoring Branch serves the public and IDEM by overseeing all aspects of air quality monitoring in Indiana including the maintenance of Indiana’s air monitoring network that measures regulated air pollutants covered by the Clean Air Act (CAA), the collection of air monitoring samples, and the handling and sharing of data collected from Indiana’s air monitoring network.
The Operations Branch provides operational and administrative support services to OAQ. The branch is responsible for a wide range of administrative needs including:
The Branch also assists the program areas with human resource management, oversees shipping and receiving supplies, is responsible for all procurement except for information technology, and serves as the liaison to facilities management for each branch in OAQ. Additionally, the Operations Branch is responsible for assisting in implementing IDEM Information Services (IS) and Indiana Office of Technology (IOT) special projects including Virtual File Cabinet, SharePoint, and TEMPO.
The Air Permits Branch serves residents and businesses located in Indiana by issuing construction and operation permits to sources that emit regulated air pollutants pursuant to the federal Clean Air Act (CAA), federal laws, and state laws and regulations.
The Air Programs Branch serves the public and supports IDEM through the oversight of state implementation plan development, vehicle emissions testing, data analysis, risk assessment, air quality trends, project management, emissions reporting, and modeling, regarding air toxics and the regulated air pollutants covered by the Clean Air Act (CAA).
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) has released The States’ View of the Air (2015) report. This report highlights the air quality in counties and cities in the United States. Like a report card, IDEM has graded areas on the state of their air quality under the federal standards for ozone and fine particles.
IDEM wants to help the public stay informed about air pollution regulations, where air pollution comes from, how air pollution is controlled, and how Indiana’s air quality compares with national standards. Reports describing Indiana air quality as some of the worst in the nation are untrue. Air Quality 101, a collection of articles from IDEM Assistant Commissioner Keith Baugues, provides accurate information about air pollution in Indiana.