In April 2015, EPA investigators found several violations at the Franklin County Construction and Demolition Landfill and Transfer Station, located in Ottawa, Kansas. NPDES permits in Kansas are issued with strict conditions for preventing stormwater from picking up pollutants, as many activities in industrial facilities — such as handling and storing materials and maintaining and cleaning equipment — take place in areas exposed to the elements. This can lead to polluted runoff from rainfall or snowmelt flowing into nearby waterways or into storm sewers and negatively impacting the area’s water quality.
At the Franklin County facility, investigators found that the storm drains contained solid waste and that scrap metal piles and other areas of solid waste could create contaminated stormwater runoff. The facility also violated self-inspection, stormwater quality monitoring and annual comprehensive site evaluation requirements.
The settlement, which is currently in a 40-day public comment period before finalization, requires Franklin County to show how it brought the facility’s operations into compliance with its NPDES permit within 90 days through a report to the EPA. The county will also pay a $20,000 cash penalty.