The Sierra Club in Kansas says state health officials and Kansas State University removed an ozone pollution monitoring site near Manhattan to prevent data collection that might support federal limits on Flint Hill grassland burns.
State health officials dispute that charge, saying the device 10 miles from Manhattan was unplugged because the equipment was more suitable for evaluating pollution in population centers.
Kansas State did not respond to request for comment.
Air-quality equipment at the Konza Prairie was unplugged in April 2013, just before burn season.
The gear had collected ozone information for more than a decade. The nearest of Kansas' nine remaining ozone monitors is in Topeka.