Hazardous Waste & Used Oil Program

The first effort to regulate hazardous waste on a national level occurred in 1976 with the passage of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) by Congress. The primary goal of RCRA was to encourage the conservation of natural resources through resource recovery. RCRA also provided the statutory basis for the federal hazardous waste regulations. A key section of RCRA provided for states to operate the hazardous waste management program in lieu of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The regulations which have evolved into the current Kansas regulatory program were first issued in May of 1980.

The State of Kansas first passed legislation about hazardous waste management in 1977. The Kansas laws have been amended and added to on several occasions. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) obtained authorization to administer the hazardous waste management program from the EPA in October of 1985. Hazardous waste generators can interact directly with KDHE. With a few exceptions, KDHE has adopted the federal regulations by reference. In areas where the Kansas regulations have more stringent requirements than the federal program, the generator must comply with the state regulations.

Hazardous wastes are generated from many different chemical products and by many different types of businesses and activities. Large generators tend to be manufacturers of various products while small generators are most often in the service industries.