Brownfields and Orphan Sites Unit
Gary Richards, Unit Manager
Phone: (785) 291-3246 Fax: (785)-296-7030 or (785)-296-1686
1000 SW Jackson, Suite 410
Topeka, KS 66612-1367
The Brownfields and Orphan Sites Unit was created to promote the redevelopment of environmentally contaminated property in the State of Kansas through assessment and cleanup. The Unit consists of two programs, the Orphan Sites Program, and the Kansas Brownfields Program.
The Kansas Brownfields Program provides funding and technical assistance in assessing properties that may be or are perceived to be contaminated. The program works with local units of government, land clearance authorities, regional councils, redevelopment agencies, tribal organizations, not-for-profit organizations, and other quasi-governmental agencies across the state to identify and assess these properties in order to clear them for redevelopment. The Brownfields Program is funded through a federal Environmental Protection Agency grant.
Orphan Sites Program
In a state funded response, KDHE commits resources from the State Water Program (State Water Resources Planning Act (K.S.A. 82a-901 et seq.)) to take the lead in investigating and cleaning up contaminated sites. These are sites where there is known or suspected contamination that is causing a threat to human health or the environment; and where a responsible party is not cleaning up contamination because the responsible party is unknown, the department has not demonstrated the responsible party's responsibility, the responsible party does not acknowledge responsibility, or the responsible party is unable or unwilling to proceed. These guidelines are based on the "Water Pollution Remediation" policy which "require[s] the State to initiate remedial procedures when a responsible party is unknown or cannot or will not undertake the necessary action." The policy also requires the State to pursue cost recovery actions against a responsible party for assessment and cleanup work taken by KDHE.
A site can move into and out of the state fund response process any time from site discovery through case closure. Sites are recommended based on environmental and health concerns, community priorities, partnership opportunities, and lack of alternative funding choices. Work is either conducted by KDHE staff or by a state-procured contractor.
The Orphan Sites Program funds finance a variety of activities, including site investigations, design and installation of remedial systems, provision of emergency water to residents with contaminated wells, installation of treatment systems to remove pollutants from ground water, contracts for construction oversight, operation and maintenance of treatment facilities, long-term monitoring, and other remediation activities. Addressing environmentally contaminated sites that are not otherwise being addressed promotes the reuse, redevelopment, and utilization of properties that are cleaned up by the program.
- Contamination Remedation Orphan Sites 2015 Annual Report (.pdf). This annual report describes the activities of the Orphan Sites Program.