Notice of Public Hearing regarding EPA Objection to the proposed NPDES permit for the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant No. 1 (Kaw Point) Treatment Facility, based on lack of weekly bacteria limits, improper authorization to bypass, and improper justification for bypass.
Public Notice Issuance Date: Jan. 16, 2020
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 7 (EPA) is announcing, pursuant to 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) sections 123.44, 124.10 and 124.12(c) and (d), that it will hold a Public Hearing to allow interested persons to submit oral or written comments and data regarding EPA’s Specific Objection to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) proposed National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant No. 1 (Kaw Point) Treatment Facility. The Kaw Point Facility is located in Wyandotte County, Kansas, and is assigned NPDES permit number KS0038563.
Date and Location
The Public Hearing will be held:
Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020
Starting at 1:00 p.m.
U.S. EPA Region 7 Office
11201 Renner Blvd.
Lenexa, KS 66219
KDHE is the permitting authority for NPDES permits issued in the state of Kansas, pursuant to the federal Clean Water Act (CWA). KDHE issues NPDES permits through its Bureau of Water in the Division of Environment. Without such a permit, discharge of pollutants into waters of the United States by a point source is generally prohibited.
Under the CWA, states are required to submit draft or proposed NPDES permits to EPA for review. EPA has the authority to review a state’s draft or proposed NPDES permits for compliance with the requirements of the CWA, and to submit to the state its comments, objections, and/or recommendations regarding the draft permits. On Nov. 25, 2010, KDHE placed on public notice several draft CWA NPDES permits, including the draft permit for the facility listed above.
- Documentation of a “no feasible alternatives analysis” for outfall 001C1
- If a “no feasible analysis” does not exist, KDHE’s plans to evaluate available information to determine whether KDHE may authorize or approve an anticipated bypass at 001C1
- An explanation of why the permit does not require weekly limits for bacteria
- An explanation of the basis for KDHE’s determination that the draft permit’s monitoring frequency is sufficient to obtain representative samples of bacteria
KDHE responded to EPA’s Dec. 22, 2010 Interim Objection letter on Jan. 31, 2011, addressing each of EPA’s requests for additional information. The letter concluded by stating if EPA did not accept KDHE’s response, KDHE requested a formal objection to the proposed permit in order to proceed with a hearing.
- The proposed permit did not specify a weekly limit for bacteria
- The permit improperly authorized the use of a bypass line (outfall 001C1)
- The permit Fact Sheet stated that KDHE was approving the anticipated use of the bypass line based on a finding there were “no feasible alternatives” to use of the bypass
EPA is required by CWA section 402(d)(4) and 40 CFR section 123.44(e) to hold a hearing on its specific objections whenever the state requests such a hearing within 90 days of receipt of EPA’s specific objections. In the case of the listed facility, KDHE timely requested a Public Hearing regarding EPA’s objection.
Following EPA’s objection, KDHE and the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, worked together to address the issues raised in the objection. KDHE will put on public notice a draft permit for the Kaw Point Facility that it believes addresses EPA’s objection. EPA will consider the revised draft permit and any other information submitted during the hearing process to determine whether the issues raised in the objection have been adequately resolved.
Hearing Procedures and Comments
All persons interested in EPA’s Specific Objection to the Kaw Point permit are invited to attend the Public Hearing. If you wish to contribute comments, statements, data, and other information to EPA regarding the Specific Objection, you may: (1) Mail or hand-deliver written comments to EPA at: Chief, Permitting and Loans Branch, Water Division, U.S. EPA Region 7, Mail code: WD/PAL, 11201 Renner Blvd., Lenexa, KS 66219; (2) Submit comments electronically to EPA at firstname.lastname@example.org; (3) Fax to 913-551-7726; or (4) Present oral comments or written materials at the hearing.
The hearing will be presided over by the EPA Regional Administrator’s authorized representative, the EPA Hearing Officer. If you are interested in attending the hearing, EPA encourages you to pre-register at least 72 hours before the hearing by email notice to email@example.com or by calling 913-551-7726. Pre-registering for the hearing will allow EPA to improve meeting planning and maximize opportunities for interested parties to provide oral comments. You may request in advance to speak at the hearing or request to speak when you arrive at the hearing. EPA will generally assign speaking slots in the order received, but may make adjustments to the speaking order to accommodate requests to speak within the time available.
The hearing will begin with brief presentations by EPA, followed by oral comments from interested persons. Oral comments will generally be limited to 10 minutes each to ensure more opportunities for interested persons to speak. Though every effort will be made to accommodate all requests for a speaking time, EPA cannot guarantee that all persons will have an opportunity to contribute oral comments. As noted above, EPA also encourages you to provide written comments.
For Further Information
EPA has a record of the basis for the objection to the Kaw Point permit, including copies of KDHE’s 2010 draft permit and Fact Sheet, and EPA’s Specific Objection letter and other relevant documents. Electronic copies of these documents are available on EPA's website. Hard copies of these documents are also on file and may be inspected at the following address anytime between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday: EPA Region 7, KDHE Hearing Record, 11201 Renner Blvd., Lenexa, Kansas. You may also contact EPA Region 7 by phone at 913-551-7726 (Glenn Curtis, branch chief) or by writing to EPA Region 7 at the above address (under Hearing Procedures and Comments).
Following the Public Hearing
The period for public comment on EPA’s Specific Objection will close upon the end of the Public Hearing on Feb. 18. The EPA Hearing Officer may extend the comment period for written statements and data by so stating at the hearing. A tape recording or written transcript of the hearing and all written comments, data, and other information EPA receives will be maintained by EPA and made available to the public at the EPA Region 7 office, as described above.
Following the Public Hearing, and after consideration of all written and oral comments, data, and the requirements of the CWA and applicable regulations, the EPA Regional Administrator’s designee will reaffirm the original objection, modify the terms of the objection, or withdraw the objection, pursuant to 40 CFR section 123.44(g). EPA will notify KDHE, the permit applicant, and all persons providing written or oral comments (if a mailing or email address has been provided), of its determination. If EPA either reaffirms the original objection or modifies the terms of the objection, KDHE must, within 30 days of receipt of EPA’s determination, submit to EPA a revised permit that meets the terms of the remaining objection, or exclusive authority to issue the permit passes to EPA for one permit term. If EPA’s objection is withdrawn following the hearing, KDHE may proceed with the permit issuance process for the permit.
Disability Reasonable Accommodation Notice
If you need a reasonable accommodation for a disability at the Public Hearing, please contact Glenn Curtis at 913-551-7726. Please provide one-week advance notice prior to the relevant hearing date for special requests not related to ongoing programs and services.