Understanding the Issues

Learn about the dangerous issue of Coal Ash in Indiana.

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:

Pollutant2008 final 303(d) Impairments2010 draft 303(d) Impairments2010 final 303(d) Impairments2012 draft 303(d) Impairments
Algae

20202020
Ammonia68810
Chloride14161617
Copper
1402
Total Cyanide
15100N/A
Free Cyanide0N/A2730
Dioxin446969
Dissolved Oxygen
78140163169
E. coli
9308229791136
Mercury (Water)024766
Mercury (fish tissue)324313355348
PCBs (water)0N/A6969
PCBs (fish tissue)653640612618
Impaired biotic communities
421505570615
Lead4
1404
Nickel1
302
Nutrients63
98110133
Oil/grease355
5
Pesticides
1111
PH921
1822
Phosphorus
50505050
Siltation3333
Sulfate274411
Taste/odor12121212
Temperature
0N/A14N/A
Total dissolved solids
4200N/A
Zinc1902

 

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.

Anti-Degradation

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

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:

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