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Kansas Seeks RCRA Corrective Action Authority from EPA

Since 1985 the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has administered the RCRA hazardous waste management program in Kansas through a delegation of authority from EPA. 50 Fed. Reg. 40377 (Oct. 3, 1985). KDHE’s delegated authority, however, has never included RCRA’s Corrective Action requirements. But that may be about to change as KDHE is in the process of seeking authorization to implement the Corrective Action program in lieu of EPA. 

The RCRA Corrective Action program requires hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities (TSDFs) to evaluate releases of hazardous wastes and develop and implement remedial measures to address those releases. In particular, the terms and conditions of a TSDF’s RCRA permit will address corrective action for releases of hazardous wastes or hazardous constituents from any solid waste management unit (SWMU) at the facility, and in some instances require corrective action beyond the facility boundary as well.

On January 31, 2013, the KDHE published a 60-day notice in the Kansas Register indicating that the agency is seeking to adopt by reference certain EPA technical documents listed in 40 CFR 260.11. According to the KDHE Regulatory Impact Statement, a major purpose behind the amendment is so that EPA can authorize KDHE as the RCRA-delegated authority, including the Corrective Action authority.

Facility owners and operators of TSDFs in Kansas, particularly those subject to corrective action obligations, should plan now to begin understanding how this delegation of authority may impact permit terms and conditions and corrective action requirements. Interested persons wishing to comment on the proposal may do so before 5:00 p.m. on April 2, 2013, or attend the public hearing scheduled at KDHE’s offices on April 2.