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.
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.
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.
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.