environment

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

The fight over an oil-related waste disposal well in Kansas’ Flint Hills has broadened into a campaign to protest similar wells across several counties and lobby lawmakers for regulatory changes.

Last month residents of Chase, Morris and other counties known for their rolling topography, open pastures and tallgrass ecology lost their effort to block operation of a saltwater injection well near Strong City and the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service/File photo

Kansas energy regulators have given the green light for an oil company to dispose of production-related wastewater in the Flint Hills — a plan that had met with resistance from residents.

EcoFest

Environmental sustainability is the focus of EcoFest in east Wichita on Saturday. Organizer Vivien Minshull-Ford says the celebration centers around green living and eco-stewardship. She says there will be an eco-conscious art exhibit, demonstrations, crafts for kids and a bus that's been converted into an eco-friendly home.

"People will be able to go on tours," Minshull-Ford says. "It’s put together by a couple of artists who are very clever at doing that sort of thing, and it’s off the grid so it has solar panels, a compost toilet and they live in it."

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

Residents of the Flint Hills on Wednesday took a fight against an oil company to Kansas energy regulators as part of their broader battle to stem wastewater disposal in the area.

They fear that a request from Quail Oil and Gas to jettison up to 5,000 barrels a day of brine near Strong City and the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve brings a risk for earthquakes or contamination of local groundwater — claims that the company disputes. 

Win McNamee / Getty Images

The United States will withdraw from the international climate agreement known as the Paris accord, President Trump announced on Thursday. He said the U.S. will negotiate either re-entering the Paris agreement or a work on a new deal that would put American workers first.

During his campaign, Trump vowed to "cancel" U.S. participation in the deal. World leaders and business figures had recently urged him to reconsider. Ultimately, the president decided to withdraw, with the stated intention of renegotiating.

In 2012 the state of Kansas ranked in the bottom five for tourism, to no one’s surprise hereabouts.

A Kansas consumer advocate agency is saying that Westar Energy, Inc. can make necessary environmental improvements at its power plants with a smaller rate increase than it requested.

An attorney for the Citizens' Utility Ratepayer Board filed testimony with the Kansas Corporation Commission yesterday, saying Westar could reduce its rate increase request by $1 million and still accomplish its goals.

CURB also argues against Westar's plan to shift the burden of the increase away from large businesses to residential customers.

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 Superfund National Priorities List now includes nine new sites, one of them where a smelter used to operate on the east side of Iola, Kan.

The EPA says the soil on hundreds of residential and commercial properties in and around Iola is contaminated with lead, arsenic, cadmium and zinc.

What is being called a "community sustainability" event will be part of the annual KidFest this Saturday in Expo Hall at Century II in downtown Wichita, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Green Zone will feature family-friendly activities in an effort to encourage people to conserve water, save energy, recycle, improve air quality and garden.

Free vehicle-emission testing will be available. 

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