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In order to be eligible to participate in the Indiana Comprehensive Local Environmental Action Network (CLEAN) Community Challenge, applicants must develop and implement a Quality of Life Plan and select five environmental goals to work on over the course of the three-year CLEAN Community Challenge term. The program is designed to be flexible and allow local governments choose activities that fit their community goals. The CLEAN Community Challenge program manager is available every step of the way to guide applicants through the process by providing document templates, facilitating stakeholder meetings, and coordinating technical assistance when necessary.
The CLEAN Community Challenge Membership Checklist [PDF] outlines the activities that are necessary to achieve CLEAN Community Challenge membership.
There is no fee to participate in the Indiana CLEAN Community Challenge. Meeting the requirements of the program will involve employee time during the planning, development, and implementation phases, but participants will receive free assistance during each step of the process.
The Indiana CLEAN Community Challenge is open to all local governments, including cities, towns, and counties, in the state of Indiana. For the purpose of the Indiana CLEAN Community Challenge, local government is defined as an organized governing entity authorized by the state of Indiana's constitution and statutes, and is established to provide general government and municipal services for a defined area. Private entities that provide municipal services under contract are excluded from the local government definition.
To be recognized as an Indiana CLEAN Community, local governments must have a positive environmental, health, and safety record. Those with negative past records must demonstrate improvement in recent history and provide a detailed plan of continual improvement in the future. Unresolved compliance issues or enforcement actions involving the local government may eliminate it from consideration. The following compliance policy outlines examples of when a CLEAN designation may be denied from an applicant or revoked from a participating community:
As with other recognition programs, those communities with outstanding violations and enforcement actions may not be eligible for the CLEAN Program until each is remedied to IDEM's satisfaction. Those applicants with a history of non-compliance may not be eligible for the CLEAN Program until they have demonstrated at least one to two years of satisfactory compliance.
To join CLEAN, local governments are required to develop and implement a Quality of Life Plan. The Quality of Life Plan addresses continuous improvement and management of the community's environmental issues above and beyond regulatory compliance. Local governments form a CLEAN stakeholder committee and, with the guidance and assistance of the CLEAN program manager, develop the following components of the Quality of Life Plan:
A key component of the Indiana CLEAN Community Challenge is tailoring environmental efforts to each community's needs and desires through outreach to local citizens and businesses. In order to ensure involvement from community and business members, local governments must demonstrate their community and business outreach commitment by including the following information in the Quality of Life Plan:
The Quality of Life Plan Checklist [PDF] outlines the required elements of the Quality of Life Plan. Examples of CLEAN communities’ Quality of Life Plans can be found on the CLEAN Member Quality of Life Plans and Annual Performance Reports webpage.
After the applicant has worked with the CLEAN program manager to develop a Quality of Life Plan, the applicant must submit the following:
As part of the Quality of Life Plan development process, IDEM’s CLEAN program manager will guide you through a step-by-step process of first identifying your community’s environmental aspects and impacts, prioritizing those impacts, and selecting environmental goals based on your most significant impacts. Communities can explore ideas for potential projects by reviewing the projects of current CLEAN members [PDF] or browsing the Environmental Activity Suggestions webpage.
Financial assistance may be available from various state and federal sources to help fund potential CLEAN projects.