Understanding the Issues
Existing Challenges to Indiana’s Waterways
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s 2012 Impaired Waters List is below. View the number of impairments for the last four years in this searchable table:
|Pollutant||2008 final 303(d) Impairments||2010 draft 303(d) Impairments||2010 final 303(d) Impairments||2012 draft 303(d) Impairments|
|Total Cyanide ||15||10||0||N/A|
|Dissolved Oxygen ||78||140||163||169|
|E. coli ||930||822||979||1136|
|Mercury (fish tissue)||324||313||355||348|
|PCBs (fish tissue)||653||640||612||618|
|Impaired biotic communities ||421||505||570||615|
|Total dissolved solids ||42||0||0||N/A|
Some of these impairments can be easily prevented. This is why the Hoosier Environmental Council has created a watershed restoration toolkit to assist citizens, neighborhood groups and others in protecting their water quality.
Learn more about these impairments.
After nearly two decades of negotiations and revisions, Indiana passed a state-wide anti-degradation policy, which took effect in 2012.
Anti-degradation is a policy which provides for a review of a proposed new or increased discharge to determine if it is necessary and unavoidable before approval is granted. As part of the watershed “toolkit” used by government agencies, it will ensure that an anti-degradation review is conducted to assess the best available technologies and weigh the social and economic benefits of potential sources of water pollution against the further degradation of a waterway.
Simply put — anti-degradation is designed to keep waterways from getting any more polluted.
Learn more about anti-degradation here.
Blue-green algae is an increasing problem in Indiana’s waterways. In 2012, two dogs died from exposure to blue-green algae after swimming in the Salamonie Reservoir.
In response to the issue of algae — which impedes recreation, endangers pets and wildlife, and causes issues with taste and odor in drinking water — the Indiana Department of Environmental Management has begun developing new standards for phosphorus in lakes and reservoirs.
Learn more about: