The Local Environmental Protection Program, established in 1990, provided funding to enable local authorities to develop water protection plans that complemented other water quality efforts being waged by state and federal agencies. At the core of each plan was the adoption and enforcement of county environmental codes with an emphasis on onsite wastewater systems (OWWS) and private water wells (PWW). These plans were also designed to indentify broader responsibilities including the management of: county-wide water and wastewater, subdivision water and wastewater, NPS pollution, sanitary landfill planning, and public water supply protection. Between 1990 and 2012, 103 counties adopted environmental codes that meet the standards outlined in KDHE Bulletin 4-2, Minimum Standards for Design and Construction of Onsite Wastewater Systems.
In 2012, funding was discontinued for this program. KDHE-Watershed Management Section continues to support the LEPP by providing technical assistance to counties. The LEPPs are the primary point of contact for a wide range of services governed by county sanitary codes, state regulations, and federal regulations. Examples of some of these activities are:
- OWWS permitting and preliminary and final inspections to verify minimum county sanitary codes and state standards are met.
- Providing the technical oversight to assist County Conservation District (CCD) offices with the cost-share program for failing OWWSs.
- Licensing of OWWS installers and septage pumpers.
- Ensuring PWWs are properly sited prior to installation.
- Conducting inspections of OWWSs and PWWs that serve foster care homes and day care facilities as required by current KDHE regulations.
- Responding to environmental complaints and conducting follow up investigations for failing OWWSs, PWWs, and illegal dump sites that may include collaboration with KDHE.
- Providing education and technical assistance to elected officials and county residents.
- Maintaining databases of OWWS permits and inspections for present and future reference.
- Conducting inspections of OWWSs and PWWs when required for a real estate transaction.