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Posted on: Nov 27, 2019

Long-Term Stewardship

By Nick Gahl, Gahl Legal Group

Indiana Code (IC 13-25-5-8.5) allows the use of institutional and engineering controls as a remedial objective and allows closure with conditions that must be performed or maintained to manage risk and control completed or potential exposure pathways. Long-term stewardship (LTS) includes all activities necessary to reliably prevent residual contamination or other environmental conditions from posing a risk to human health following completion or stabilization at a site. LTS activities include inspection, operation and maintenance, information management and distribution, financial assurance and public notification. Examples of LTS sites include properties with engineered controls that require monitoring, operation, or maintenance; sites where contamination has migrated off-site affecting multiple parcels; and/or sites where on-going media monitoring is needed.

The LTS components include the following: 

  • Long Term Stewardship Plan – includes the establishment and maintenance of physical and legal controls, implementation entities, authorities, accountability mechanisms and information management. The LTS Plan will also include one or more of the following site-specific work plans:
    • Groundwater Monitoring
    • Vapor Mitigation Monitoring
    • Land Activity Monitoring
    • Engineered Control Monitoring
  • Financial Assurance – guarantees the availability of financial resources necessary to ensure the LTS plan remains protective of human health and the environment.
  • Long Term Stewardship Agreement – a legally binding agreement between the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) and the responsible party that memorializes the LTS Plan, LTS work plan(s), and financial assurance
  • Monitoring – sites participating in LTS will be required to submit on a recurring basis a monitoring report to provide assurance that the LTS plan is effective in protecting human health. 

Decision-makers should weigh the full costs of the LTS option, including capital costs, costs of long-term sampling and analysis and costs of replacing equipment, as well as concerns about potential long-term risks associated with contaminants left in place against the costs of options that would remove the contaminants permanently.

IDEM is currently developing templates, processes and workflows for LTS. An internal staff review of these documents is scheduled for late 2019/early 2020 with release to the outside anticipated for early 2020. That said, sites may request consideration for LTS effective immediately. For questions related to LTS, please contact IDEM’s Institutional Controls Group at (317) 234-8622 or by email at institutionalcontrols@idem.in.gov.

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