The Indiana department of environmental management is responsible for air pollution control, water pollution control, and management of solid waste and hazardous waste. The state department of health has some responsibilities for drinking water. Most natural resource operations are under the state department of natural resources. In 2008 the state had 30 hazardous waste sites on a national priority list for cleanup due to their severity or proximity to people. Between 1995 and 2000, the amount of toxic chemicals discharged into the environment increased by 19 percent.
The quality of Indiana’s air is good in most rural areas, but it is fair to poor in the industrialized northwest, where soot and dust (particulates) are the primary problem, and along the Wabash and Ohio Rivers, where sulfur dioxide from power plants is the chief problem. Most urban areas have high atmospheric pollution levels, owing to motor vehicle emissions.
Indiana has a solid waste (trash) disposal program, a hazardous waste program, and a program to prevent leaks from underground storage tanks, located primarily at fuel stations. Most of Indiana’s trash is dumped in landfills. Laws enacted in the early 1990s require that new landfill construction follow strict guidelines to prevent seepage. The laws also restrict the growing inflow of waste from other states and encourage Indiana’s efforts in trash recycling.
Groundwater is the source of drinking water for almost one-third of the state’s population. Indiana’s groundwater contains limited synthetic organic chemicals, nitrates, brine and salt, and pesticides, common in agricultural states. All municipal water supplies are treated to ensure water quality. In 1985 the state legislature set up a loan fund to enable local communities to construct or expand sewage treatment plants. The measure has helped to prevent further deterioration of the streams. "Indiana" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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