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65-165. Permits for discharge of sewage or extension of sewer system; exceptions; general permits; revocation or modification of permit. (a) Upon application made to the secretary of health and environment by the public authorities having by law the charge of the sewer system of any municipality, township, county or legally constituted sewer district, or any person, company, corporation, institution, municipality or federal agency, the secretary of health and environment shall consider the case of a sewage discharge or sewer system, otherwise prohibited by this act from discharging sewage into any of the waters of the state, or the extension of a sewer system. The secretary shall issue a permit for the extension of the sewer system or for the discharge of sewage, or both, if the secretary determines that: (1) The general interests of the public health would be served thereby or the discharge of such sewage would not detract from the quality of the waters of the state for their beneficial uses for domestic or public water supply, agricultural needs, industrial needs, recreational needs or other beneficial use; and (2) such discharge meets or will meet all applicable state water quality standards and applicable federal water quality and effluent standards under the provisions of the federal water pollution control act and amendments thereto as in effect on January 1, 1998. The secretary shall stipulate in the permit the conditions on which such discharge will be permitted and shall require such treatment of the sewage as determined necessary to protect beneficial uses of the waters of the state in accordance with the statutes and rules and regulations defining the quality of the water affected by such discharge and may require treatment of the sewage in accordance with rules and regulations predicated upon technologically based effluent limitations. Indirect dischargers shall comply with all applicable pretreatment regulations and water quality standards.

(b) The secretary of health and environment may establish, by rules and regulations, a program of annual certification of public sanitary sewer systems to approve, without the necessity of securing an additional permit from the secretary, sewer extensions for which the plans: (1) Are prepared by a professional engineer, as defined by K.S.A. 74-7003 and amendments thereto; and (2) conform to the minimum standards of design for water pollution control facilities published by the secretary. A public sanitary sewer system shall qualify for such certification only if the secretary determines that the system has staff, or persons under contract, qualified to approve sewer extensions and the system complies with any conditions that the secretary establishes to effectively monitor and control the certification process, including but not limited to such periodic reporting of sewer extensions approved or sewer connection permits issued, or both, as the secretary may require.

(c) If, in the opinion of the secretary of health and environment, issuance of general permits is more appropriate than issuance of individual permits, the secretary may establish, by rule and regulation, procedures for issuance of general permits to the following sources and facilities if such sources and facilities involve similar types of operations, discharge the same types of wastes or engage in the same types of sludge use or disposal practices, require similar monitoring requirements or require the same effluent limitations, operating conditions, or standards for sewage sludge use or disposal: (1) A category of point and nonpoint sources of sewage such as storm water; (2) other categories of point and nonpoint sources of sewage; or (3) categories of facilities treating domestic sewage. Availability of general permits shall be limited to areas defined by geographical or political boundaries such as, but not limited to, city, county or state boundaries, state or county roads and highways or natural boundaries such as drainage basins. The secretary may establish, by rule and regulation, procedures for the issuance, revocation, modification and change, reissuance or termination of general permits in the manner provided by law.

(d) Any permit application may be denied and every permit for the discharge of sewage shall be revocable, or subject to modification and change, by the secretary of health and environment, upon notice having been served on the public authorities having, by law, the charge of the sewer system any municipality, township, county or legally constituted sewer district or on the person, company, corporation, institution, municipality or federal agency owning, maintaining or using the sewage system. The length of time after receipt of the notice within which the discharge of sewage shall be discontinued may be stated in the permit, but in no case shall it be less than 30 days or exceed two years; if the length of time is not specified in the permit, it shall be 30 days. On the expiration of the period of time prescribed, after the service of notice of denial, revocation, modification or change from the secretary of health and environment, the right to discharge sewage into any of the waters of the state shall cease and terminate, and the prohibition of this act against such discharge shall be in full force, as though no permit had been granted, but a new permit may thereafter again be granted, as hereinbefore provided.

(e) Any permittee or permit applicant upon whom notice of denial, revocation, modification or change has been served pursuant to subsection (d) may appeal to the secretary within 30 days after service of the notice. All permit applications and requests for appeal are subject to the provisions of the Kansas administrative procedure act.

History: L. 1907, ch. 382, § 5; R.S. 1923, 65-165; L. 1947, ch. 326, § 1; L. 1967, ch. 333, § 1; L. 1974, ch. 247, § 1; L. 1974, ch. 352, § 26; L. 1984, ch. 221, § 2; L. 1989, ch. 185, § 1; L. 1992, ch. 64, § 1; L. 1997, ch. 92, § 2; L. 1998, ch. 62, § 1; July 1.

Law Review and Bar Journal References:

"Groundwater Pollution I: The Problem and the Law," Robert L. Glicksman, George Cameron Coggins, 35 K.L.R. 75, 149, 192 (1986).

"Regulation of Air and Water Quality in Kansas: A Critical Look at Legislative Ambiguity and Administrative Discretion," George Cameron Coggins, 21 K.L.R. 1, 13, 14 (1972).

"Old McDonald Had a Government-Regulated-Confined-Swine-Operation; A Substitute for H.B. 2950," Dustin W. Mullin, 38 W.L.J. 655 (1999).

Attorney General's Opinions:

Cited in reference to KDHE administration of national pollutant discharge elimination system. 87-130.

Secretary of health and environment, activities; water supply and sewage; implementation of clean water act; N.P.D.E.S. program. 87-154.

Definitions; "sewage" and "pollution"; citizen intervention in certain environmental proceedings. 91-68.

Corporate swine production facilities; county authority. 97-72.

Confined animal feeding operations; environmental impact; contamination of soil and water; application and enforcement of federal and state laws; legislative authority. 98-2.


1. Health authorities may invoke remedy of injunction to prevent anticipated health menace. Dougan v. Shawnee County Comm'rs, 141 Kan. 554, 560, 43 P.2d 223.

2. Act for judicial review of agency actions (K.S.A. 77-601 et seq.) noted as exclusive means of review unless agency specifically exempted. Kansas Sunset Assocs. v. Kansas Dept. of Health & Environment, 16 Kan. App. 2d 1, 2, 818 P.2d 797 (1991).

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