Risk-based Standards for Kansas

The Bureau of Environmental Remediation (BER)  has released the 6th version of the Risk-based Standards for Kansas (RSK) Manual (PDF).  Revisions for this version include updating exposure factors to most current EPA values (2014) and the addition of two new contaminants (Dalapon and Ammonium Glufosinate). Sites addressing Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons and Light Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid should refer to BER Policy Number BER-041 (PDF), and sites addressing nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia should refer to BER Policy Number BER-RS-047 (PDF).

Any questions regarding these changes and their effects on the management of a contaminated site may be directed to the KDHE project manager.


The RSK Manual was originally developed in March 1999. Chemical-specific and media-specific risk-based cleanup goals were calculated using guidance and directives from the United States Environmental Protection Agency and various other technical resources. Prior to the initial development of the manual, an Environmental Workgroup was established consisting of members of industry and the public to assist in determining appropriate risk-based cleanup levels. The risk-based cleanup levels determined by the Environmental Workgroup are incorporated into the RSK Manual. The RSK Manual is used to fairly and consistently address contaminated sites in Kansas.

Risk based standards for Kansas front page - RSK Manual Cover

The Risk-based Standards for Kansas (RSK) Manual is used to fairly and consistently address contaminated sites in Kansas.

Limitations on Use

The RSK Manual is only applicable to contaminated properties or sites that are participating in appropriate state cleanup programs. KDHE project managers will work with the public and industry to ensure the appropriate application of this guidance. Tier 2 risk-based cleanup levels defined in the RSK Manual are applicable for a single contaminant, in a single medium, under standard and conservative default exposure assumptions. Tier 2 risk-based cleanup levels have several additional limitations. Specifically excluded from consideration are transfers of contaminants from soil to air, the cumulative risk from multiple contaminants or media, and risk to ecological receptors.

The RSK document should not be used for environmental audits, environmental assessments, or other non-KDHE managed activities. Use of Tier 2 risk-based values established within the RSK Manual without KDHE oversight may constitute misapplication of the RSK manual and may result in risk management decisions not supported by KDHE. The RSK Manual is not intended for use by environmental consultants on contaminated sites in the State of Kansas that are not participating in a KDHE cleanup program.