Vapor Intrusion



The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Bureau of Environmental Remediation (BER) developed this webpage to share information with the public regarding KDHE's approach to address the vapor intrusion pathway at sites in Kansas.

Vapor intrusion occurs when volatile organic compounds (VOCs) migrate from the subsurface into the indoor air of overlying buildings. All sites with subsurface VOC contamination proximal to buildings can pose human health threats via the vapor intrusion pathway; however, current information suggests that the greatest threats are posed by sites where contamination occurs within 40 feet of the surface and where potential receptors are located within 100 feet laterally (or less for some contaminants) of the contamination. KDHE is working closely with responsible/voluntary parties and other project stakeholders to ensure that potential vapor intrusion risks are identified, assessed and mitigated in the near term.

Guidance and Other Documents

  • Kansas Vapor Intrusion Guidance (June 2007)
    This document is intended to assist KDHE staff, responsible/voluntary parties, and environmental consultants and contractors working on sites in KDHE programs to understand the basic concepts of chemical vapor intrusion and the importance of addressing the potential public health issues posed by this pathway. The document does not represent new policy, but rather, was developed to summarize existing KDHE policy and practice for evaluating indoor air impacts attributable to vapor intrusion. Every site presents unique circumstances that must be addressed on a site-specific basis in consultation with KDHE project managers.
  • Risk-Based Standards for Kansas Manual (RSK Manual) (October 2010) (.pdf)
    The Risk-based Standards for Kansas Manual (RSK Manual) was originally developed in 1999 to facilitate consistent application of regulatory threshold levels and has undergone several revisions. Appendix A of the RSK Manual presents Tier 2 Levels for various exposure pathways, including the Indoor Air Pathway. The RSK Manual is only applicable to contaminated properties or sites participating in state cleanup programs and should not be used outside of KDHE oversight.
  • Considerations for Operations, Maintenance, and Monitoring for Residential Active Subslab Depressurization Systems (BER-RS-53) (.pdf)
    This document addresses activities necessary to ensure adequate performance of subslab depressurization systems following system startup, and necessary post-startup testing and diagnostics.

Standard Operating Procedures

These documents describe KDHE's standard operating procedures for collecting and analyzing vapor samples for volatile organic compounds. Responsible parties, voluntary parties, and environmental consultants are encouraged to work with KDHE project managers to develop their own standard operating procedures for sample collection and analysis when assessing vapor intrusion.

Contact Information

The KDHE-BER's Remedial Section established an indoor air team in 2009 to develop and maintain guidance and oversee the vapor intrusion investigations and mitigation efforts at contaminated sites in Kansas. Questions regarding the vapor intrusion pathway may be directed to KDHE project managers or the KDHE Indoor Air Team Coordinator:

Chris Carey, LG
Section Chief, Remedial Section
Kansas Department of Health and Environment
Bureau of Environmental Remediation
1000 SW Jackson Street; Suite 410
Topeka, Kansas 66612
785-296-1673
ccarey@kdheks.gov