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Environment

Kansas' environmental regulations strive to balance the prudent conservation of environmental resources and sensitivity to the operation of our industries. For environmental/regulatory questions relating to site selection, please contact the Kansas Department of Commerce and we will put you in touch with the appropriate Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) official to assist your company.

AIR

Kansas’ clean air is not only healthy … It also translates into simpler, less expensive requirements for industries considering a Kansas location. With the exception of ozone-maintenance agreements in Wyandotte and Johnson counties, and an area of less than one square mile in Saline County, the entire state is an air quality attainment area. In fact, Kansas City is the first and largest metropolitan region in the country re-designated as an attainment area according to the federal clean air standards for ozone. Because of the state’s compliance with the national ambient air quality standards, air emissions quality restrictions are limited.

WATER

Water covers 459 square miles of Kansas. Even so, water quality and availability vary across the state. Most businesses requiring 10 acre-feet or less of water annually (3,258,500 gallons) from municipalities can be easily accommodated, as most Kansas municipalities have future growth needs factored into their water rights as well as their treatment and distribution systems.

ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION

Most of the state’s environmental regulations are administered by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). That agency also has authority to issue many federal environmental permits. The KDHE’s main office is in Topeka with district offices throughout the state that can address questions involving air, water, waste and remediation. The district offices are located in Chanute, Wichita, Dodge City, Hays, Salina and Lawrence. The Surface Mining Office is located in Frontenac.

A few Kansas counties – Johnson, Sedgwick and Shawnee – also have their own environmental inspection bureaus. Wyandotte County has its own environmental agency through which many state permits are written and issued.

The most common types of permits are outlined in the chart within this section. If you think your business may need a permit, license or other approval from the KDHE, please contact that department before you start your business or project. If you are planning to purchase or acquire a business facility or structure, please check with the KDHE first, since not all permits, licenses and approvals are transferable from one owner to the next.

OBTAINING ENVIRONMENTAL PERMITS

Because many permits are industry and location specific, an initial meeting between your company, the KDHE and an environmental consultant of your choice can serve as a valuable planning tool. The following process is generally used to obtain environmental permits:


  1. Company meets with the KDHE to discuss its proposed operations.
  2. The KDHE provides relevant permit/license applications.
  3. Company completes the application(s). Information such as detailed engineering reports, specifications and quantity and characteristics of anticipated waste are requested. Application(s) and supporting documentation are submitted to the KDHE.
  4. The KDHE reviews the application(s). Information that is justified as being confidential by the company is kept confidential by the KDHE. If the proposed waste is a federally regulated pollutant, such as a hazardous waste, portions of the draft permit are sent to the EPA for approval.
  5. After being reviewed for completeness and approved by the KDHE (and the EPA if necessary), the project is usually subject to a 30-day public notice period. Requirements on when construction may begin vary depending on permit types. This detail should be clarified with the KDHE early in the permit process.

HELP IS AVAILABLE

In many cases, the best technical assistance can be found through the KDHE’s network of district offices located in:

Chanute – (620) 431-2390
 
Wichita – (316) 337-6020

Dodge City – (620) 225-0596

Hays – (785) 625-5663

Salina – (785) 827-9639

Lawrence – (785) 842-4600

Frontenac – (620) 231-8540 (Surface Coal Mining Only)

Compliance inspectors in each office, specializing in waste, water, air and remediation, can work with company officials to ensure that the proper procedures are followed to obtain the appropriate permits.

The KDHE also provides specialized assistance for businesses with fewer than 100 employees. The Small Business Environmental Assistance Program is operated on behalf of the KDHE by the Pollution Prevention Institute at Kansas State University. This program is designed to help small businesses understand the permitting process and learn about options for preventing pollution without having to obtain a permit and to provide on-site consulting on a variety of environmental issues. This program can be accessed at (800) 578-8898.

Permitting Data and Contacts 
 Activities Requiring Permits  Permitting Authority  When to Apply  Approval Time Frame  Notes
 Air Emissions-Construction Permit   KDHE Bureau
of Air
(785) 296-1570
 When design complete
-must have permit
prior to commencement
of construction
 40 to 120 Days  Fees differ by emission source and type- Time frame depends on need for public notice
 Air Emissions-
Construction Permit-
Major facilities    
 KDHE Bureau
of Air
(785) 296-1570
 When design complete
-must have permit
prior to commencement
of construction
 180+ Days Sources subject to the prevention of significant deterioration (40 CFR Part 52) requirements
 Air Emissions-
Construction Approval
 KDHE Bureau
of Air
(785) 296-1570
 When design complete
-must have permit
prior to commencement
of construction
 40 to 60 Days Approval application fee not required
 Wastewater Discharge or Storage  KDHE Bureau
of Water
(785) 296-5545
 At least 180 days prior to discharge initiation  180 Days For facilities that discharge or treat wastewater
 Storm Water Control   KDHE Bureau
 of Water
(785) 296-5545
 Notice of intent prior to operation of facility-Some localities require notification 180 days prior to operation of facility  Some localities require notification 180 days prior to operation of facility For industries discharging storm water from manufacturing, processing or raw materials
 Construction Activities KDHE Bureau
of Water
(785) 296-5545 
 60 days prior to when construction activity begins  N/A  Storm water construction activity permit is required for construction activities involving clearing, grading and excavation of land that is one acre or larger 
 Confined Feeding Facilities (Livestock) KDHE Bureau
 of Water
(785) 296-6432 
At least 180 days prior to operation. 180 days Larger feeding operations are subject to siting requirements
 Filling Flood Plains  Department of Agriculture
(785) 296-2933
On completion of plans-cities that are identified as flood hazard areas may also require a locally issued permit  3 to 6 Months For placement of fill
material in flood plain
 Water Use       Department of Agriculture
(785) 296-2933
 On-site selection 12 Months  For companies requiring installation of water wells or water diversion structures 
 Solid Waste Disposal Industrial Landfills KDHE Bureau of Waste Management
(785) 296-1600
When site is selected and facility plans are complete  9 Months  Allows company to construct and operate on-site landfills for wastes generated on the premises
 Solid Waste Disposal Construction & Demolition Landfills KDHE Bureau of Waste Management
(785) 296-1600 
 When site is selected facility plans are complete, and local government approvals are obtained regarding zoning and consistency with the county solid waste plan 9 Months   Allows company to construct and operate landfills to accept wastes generated in the construction and demolition of structures and land clearing
 Hazardous Waste Facilities (Treatment, Storage or Disposal) KDHE Bureau of Waste Management
(785) 296-1609 
 When site is selected and facility plans are complete  2 Years  No permit required for generation only, unless storage time exceeds 90 days
 Hazardous Waste Transporters  KDHE Bureau of Waste Management
(785) 296-1603
 Transporters must register prior to transport of waste  2 Weeks  Transporters, generators and facilities pay monitoring fees
 Operation of Underground and Above-Ground Storage Tanks  KDHE Bureau of Environmental Remediation
(785) 296-1678
 Permits for above-ground and underground tanks are issued for a calendar year beginning August 1  Approx. 1 Month  Compliance information is collected throughout the year and submitted prior
 Operating Coal Mines  KDHE Bureau of Environmental Remediation Surface Mining Section
(620) 231-8540
 Coal mining permit  About 8 Months depending on the site  
 Dry Cleaning Facilities  KDHE Bureau of Environmental Remediation
(785) 296-6370
 Register within 30 Days of start-up  1 Week  Annual registration plus gross receipts fee paid throughout the year




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Kansas Department of Commerce, 1000 S.W. Jackson St., Suite 100, Topeka, KS 66612-1354
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