A Guide to the Kansas Environmental Coordination Act Requirements, Process, and Compliance

The Kansas Environmental Coordination Act (KECA) is a crucial piece of legislation that shapes the environmental landscape of development projects in the state. This comprehensive guide dives deep into the intricacies of the KECA, providing a clear understanding of its applicability, regulatory standards, and compliance obligations. Readers will learn about the Act's key provisions, such as the permitting requirements and the role of the Environmental Coordination Council, while also gaining insights into recent developments and the future regulatory outlook. By exploring the KECA's structure, enforcement mechanisms, and additional resources, this guide equips stakeholders with the knowledge necessary to navigate the complexities of environmental coordination in Kansas and make informed decisions for their projects.


Key Details of the Kansas Environmental Coordination Act

  • Issuing Agency: Kansas Department of Commerce
  • Year Established: 1987
  • Last Amended: 2011
  • Statutory Authority: Kansas Environmental Coordination Act
  • Primary Legal Reference: Kansas Statutes Annotated sections 65-3453 to 65-34601

Overview of the Kansas Environmental Coordination Act

The Kansas Environmental Coordination Act (KECA) operates within the state's broader environmental regulatory framework, which includes the Kansas Air Quality Act, the Kansas Water Appropriation Act, and the Kansas Hazardous Waste Management Act. KECA aims to streamline the environmental permitting process for large-scale development projects in Kansas by providing a centralized, coordinated review process involving multiple state agencies.

The primary goal of KECA is to minimize duplication of effort and ensure timely, efficient processing of environmental permits for qualifying projects. The Kansas Department of Commerce administers KECA, working closely with other state agencies such as the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Department of Agriculture.

KECA was enacted in 1987 to encourage economic development in Kansas while ensuring compliance with environmental regulations. The act has undergone several amendments, most notably in 2011, to refine the definition of qualifying projects and update the permitting process.

Under KECA, qualifying projects undergo a coordinated review process in which all relevant state agencies participate. This approach streamlines the permitting process, reduces delays, and provides a single point of contact for project developers.

What does the Kansas Environmental Coordination Act protect?

The Kansas Environmental Coordination Act indirectly protects a wide range of environmental resources in Kansas, including air quality, water quality, and wildlife habitat. By streamlining the environmental permitting process for large-scale development projects, KECA ensures that these projects comply with all relevant state environmental regulations, which are designed to protect specific environmental resources from degradation, pollution, and other adverse impacts.


Regulated Activities & Entities

The Kansas Environmental Coordination Act (KECA) is a comprehensive state regulation that aims to protect the environment and public health by regulating various activities and entities that have the potential to cause environmental harm. The Act applies to a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, agriculture, energy production, and waste management, among others.

Under the KECA, the following activities and substances are prohibited due to their potential to cause significant environmental damage:

  1. Discharge of untreated industrial wastewater into surface water bodies or groundwater aquifers.
  2. Improper disposal of hazardous waste, including chemicals, solvents, and radioactive materials.
  3. Release of air pollutants, such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter, above permitted levels.
  4. Unauthorized alteration or destruction of wetlands, which serve as critical habitats for wildlife and help maintain water quality.
  5. Engaging in activities that contribute to soil erosion, sedimentation, or land degradation without implementing proper conservation measures.

These prohibitions are based on scientific evidence demonstrating the negative impacts of these activities on the environment and human health. By regulating these activities, the KECA seeks to minimize pollution, protect natural resources, and ensure sustainable development practices throughout the state.

Structure and Key Provisions

The Kansas Environmental Coordination Act is organized into several sections that cover various aspects of environmental regulation and enforcement. The key provisions of the to include:

Section 1: Definitions

This section provides clear definitions for important terms used throughout the Act, such as "pollutant," "discharge," and "hazardous waste." These definitions help ensure consistency in the interpretation and application of the regulation.

Section 2: Environmental Coordination Council

This section establishes the Environmental Coordination Council, which is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the KECA and coordinating efforts among various state agencies involved in environmental protection.

Section 3: Permitting Requirements

This section outlines the permitting process for activities that have the potential to impact the environment. It specifies the types of permits required, application procedures, and the criteria used to evaluate permit applications.

Section 4: Enforcement and Penalties

This section details the enforcement mechanisms available under the KECA, including administrative orders, civil penalties, and criminal sanctions for violations of the Act. It also outlines the process for investigating complaints and taking enforcement actions.

While these are some of the most important provisions of the Kansas Environmental Coordination Act, it is crucial for project proponents to consult the full text of the regulation and engage with the relevant state agencies to obtain project-specific guidance. The KECA is a complex regulation, and its application may vary depending on the specific circumstances of each project.


Regulatory Standards & Limitations

The Kansas Environmental Coordination Act establishes various standards and limitations to protect the environment and public health. These may include emissions limits for air pollutants, water quality standards, and performance standards for specific industries or activities2. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is responsible for implementing and enforcing these standards through permitting, inspections, and other regulatory mechanisms. Developers and consultants must work closely with KDHE to understand the specific standards and limitations applicable to their projects and ensure compliance with these requirements.

Monitoring, Reporting & Recordkeeping Obligations

Under the Kansas Environmental Coordination Act, regulated entities are subject to various monitoring, reporting, and recordkeeping requirements3. These obligations may include:

  • Conducting regular monitoring of emissions, discharges, or other environmental parameters
  • Maintaining accurate records of monitoring data, operational activities, and compliance status
  • Submitting periodic reports to KDHE on monitoring results, compliance status, and other relevant information

The specific monitoring, reporting, and recordkeeping requirements can vary depending on the type of project, industry, and applicable regulations. Developers and consultants should work closely with KDHE to understand and fulfill these obligations for their specific projects.

Enforcement Actions & Penalties

The Kansas Environmental Coordination Act authorizes KDHE to take enforcement actions against entities that violate the act's provisions or related regulations4. Enforcement actions may include:

  • Notices of violation
  • Administrative orders
  • Civil penalties
  • Criminal penalties for knowing or willful violations

The severity of enforcement actions and penalties can depend on factors such as the nature and extent of the violation, the potential for harm to the environment or public health, and the violator's compliance history. Proactive compliance and early engagement with KDHE can help avoid enforcement actions and minimize potential penalties. Developers and consultants should consult the full text of the Kansas Environmental Coordination Act and work closely with KDHE to understand the specific enforcement provisions and penalty structures that may apply to their projects.


Recent Developments & Regulatory Outlook

The Kansas Environmental Coordination Act has undergone several significant developments in recent years. In 2019, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) updated its guidance document on the implementation of the Act, clarifying the roles and responsibilities of various state agencies in the environmental review process. This update aimed to streamline the coordination process and reduce confusion among stakeholders.

Another notable development was the passage of House Bill 2034 in 2021, which amended the Act to require a more comprehensive analysis of the cumulative environmental impacts of proposed projects. This amendment was in response to growing concerns about the potential long-term effects of large-scale developments on Kansas's natural resources and communities.

Looking ahead, the KDHE is expected to release a new set of administrative regulations in 2023 that will further detail the procedural requirements for environmental reviews under the Act. These regulations are likely to include provisions related to public participation, agency coordination, and the use of scientific data in the decision-making process.

Stakeholders can stay informed about these developments by regularly visiting the KDHE's website, which features a dedicated page for the Kansas Environmental Coordination Act. The website also allows interested parties to sign up for email updates and notifications about upcoming public meetings and comment periods. Additionally, industry associations such as the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and the Kansas Developers Association often provide valuable insights and resources related to the Act.

Additional Resources

Kansas Developers Association Environmental Compliance Handbook: A comprehensive guide for developers navigating the environmental review process under the Missouri Environmental Coordination Act, published by the Kansas Developers Association.

University of Kansas Environmental Law Center - Kansas Environmental Coordination Act Overview: A concise overview of the Act and its implications for environmental law in Missouri, prepared by the University of Kansas Environmental Law Center.

Kansas Environmental Coordination Act: A Primer for Consultants: An online course offered by the Kansas Bar Association, designed to introduce environmental consultants to the key aspects of the Act and its application in practice.


  1. Kan. Stat. Ann. §§ 65-3453 to 65-3460.

  2. Kansas Environmental Coordination Act, K.S.A. 65-3001 et seq.

  3. Kansas Environmental Coordination Act, K.S.A. 65-3007.

  4. Kansas Environmental Coordination Act, K.S.A. 65-3008.

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A Note to Our Readers: We hope this guide is a valuable resource in helping you better understand the Kansas Environmental Coordination Act. However, it's not a substitute for professional advice and doesn't cover every scenario. Always consult with regulatory bodies and professionals for the most current advice and project-specific guidance.