pollution

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

Fresh off a win in one multi-state lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced he will join another.

Schmidt’s office said Tuesday morning he was joining attorneys general from eight other states in fighting the “Waters of the U.S.” rule intended to expand the scope of the Clean Water Act to smaller tributaries.

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, ruled Monday that the Environmental Protection Agency must take cost into consideration when regulating power plant emissions.

Kansas and Missouri were among 20 states that joined Michigan officials in a lawsuit over a 2011 EPA rule requiring electric utilities to minimize their emissions of mercury and other toxic substances from their smokestacks.

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An official with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment said it will be difficult for the state to have a plan in place by the proposed deadline to meet President Obama's order to curb emissions linked to climate change.

Tom Gross, chief of the bureau's air monitoring and planning division, said the rule proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency could leave the state with only one year between the time it becomes final in June 2015 and the time the state has to implement a plan in June 2016.

Sneebly / Flickr, Creative Commons

A recent community meeting gathered in response to high levels of sulfur dioxide pollution in neighborhoods near downtown Kansas City. What's in our air, where is it coming from, and what exactly do our lungs do with the contaminants we breathe, anyway?

Guests:

Dan Margolies / KCUR

Speakers at a forum hosted by the Sierra Club Wednesday evening blamed the Veolia Energy power plant near downtown Kansas City for contributing to dangerously high levels of sulfur dioxide air pollution in the area.

Health, environmental and religious leaders gathered in the Columbus Park neighborhood near the plant to discuss health concerns raised by emissions from Veolia and other coal plants in Missouri.

Scientists Detect High Levels Of Nitrogen In Midwest Waterways

Sep 3, 2013
Abbie Fentress Swanson / Harvest Public Media

This spring and summer, U.S. Geological Survey scientists waded into 100 Midwest streams to test for hundreds of chemicals used in farming, including nutrients, pesticides like atrazine and glyphosate, and livestock hormones. The results from the study are trickling in. But preliminary findings indicate that from May through early July, 21 percent of the region’s streams contained very high levels of nitrogen in the form of nitrates.

The two Kansas Cities have won a $600,000 federal grant from the Environmental  Protection Agency to restore a score or more environmentally blighted areas. 

The project to be called One-KC Brownfields Coalition will include hazard cleanup, urban farms, orchards and gardens.

The properties are in a swath across state line. They lie in the central city of Kansas City Kansas and roughly bordered by  the Missouri River and 31st in Kansas City, Mo. 

Ash Grove Cement Company has agreed to pay a penalty, and invest $30 million in new pollution control technology at its nine manufacturing plants-one of which is in Chanute, Kan. The settlement stems from charges that Ash Grove violated the Clean Air Act.

The consent decree allows the Overland Park-based company to pay a $2.5 million penalty, and install new pollution controls at plants in nine states, without having to admit to violating air quality requirements.

Road Builders Accused of Polluting

Sep 2, 2010

Kansas City, KS – The Environmental Protection Agency accuses MoDOT of failing to protect streams along two highway construction jobs. Inspectors allegedly found sediment was allowed to seep into a half dozen creeks and unnamed tributaries in Camden and Wayne Counties in central Missouri.

The waterways flow into Lake of the Ozarks.

Kansas City, MO – This spring and summer, an alarming number of sewage spills are threatening local waterways. Millions of gallons of human waste have poured into rivers and lakes. And it's unclear if this is business as usual, and the public just didn't know about it before.

What's changed is that the city and the state are now reporting these spills more consistently. To understand the situation better, KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross caught up with journalist Karen Dillon, who covers the environmental beat for The Kansas City Star.