Mar 07, 2016

EPA and Franklin County, Kan., Reach Settlement on Clean Water Act Violations

EPA investigations at landfill found solid waste in storm drains, potential for contaminated storm water runoff

epa, npdes, franklin county kansas

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 reached a settlement with Franklin County, Kan., that requires the county to resolve its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit violations under the Clean Water Act. As part of the settlement, the county is required to pay a cash penalty of $20,000.

EPA investigations at the Franklin County Construction and Demolition Landfill and Transfer Station in Ottawa in April 2015 found solid waste in storm drains, and the potential for contaminated storm water runoff coming from scrap metal piles and other solid wastes. The county also failed to conduct self-inspections, monitor storm water quality and conduct an annual comprehensive site evaluation.

As part of the settlement, the county is required to submit a report describing how it came into compliance with its NPDES permit within 90 days in addition to the cash penalty.

Material handling and storage, equipment maintenance and cleaning and other activities at industrial facilities are often exposed to the weather. Runoff from rainfall or snowmelt that comes in contact with these activities can pick up pollutants, and transport them directly to a nearby river or lake, or indirectly via a storm sewer and degrade water quality. The NPDES permitting program in Kansas requires controls be in place to prevent storm water from coming into contact with pollutants.

Compliance with the facility’s NPDES permit will help prevent unauthorized discharges into area surface waters, and help ensure the health of the watershed.

The settlement is subject to a 40-day public comment period before it becomes final.  Information on how to submit comments is available online: