Allison Kite

Allison Kite

Allison Kite is a data reporter for The Missouri Independent and Kansas Reflector, with a focus on the environment and agriculture. A graduate of the University of Kansas, she’s covered state government in both Topeka and Jefferson City, and most recently was City Hall reporter for The Kansas City Star.

As EPA readies to limit ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water, Kansas has done little testing

By: - May 26, 2023

Most of the sample results were normal. But one stood out.  Drinking water in rural Barber County contained levels of perfluorooctanoic acid — or PFOA — at more than 30 times a limit under consideration by the Environmental Protection Agency. It was the only substance the lab detected when Barber County Rural Water District #2 had its […]

Sierra Club calls on EPA to strengthen rules on coal plants, affecting two Kansas facilities

By: - May 25, 2023

Two Kansas utilities could be required to upgrade coal-fired power plants to limit emissions of lead and other hazardous metals under a policy regulators are considering, according to environmental activists.  The Sierra Club on Thursday released a report urging the Environmental Protection Agency to use its existing pollution rules to cut down on harmful exposures […]

With only weeks until winter wheat harvest, drought still plagues Kansas

By: - May 23, 2023

Month after month without enough rain has made Kansas the epicenter of a stubborn drought covering parts of the Great Plains.  While the drought that plagued almost the entire western half of the U.S. last year has relented, it has only gotten worse in Kansas. The state is experiencing the most severe drought in the […]

Workers at the site of the oil spill from the Keystone pipeline near Washington, Kansas, in December 2022

Keystone pipeline owners knew of defect years before Kansas spill

By: - May 22, 2023

Owners of the Keystone pipeline knew a defect had formed years before the strain finally caused the pipeline to burst and flood a Kansas creek with oil last year.  The Keystone pipeline, owned by TC Energy, burst near the Kansas-Nebraska border late last year, spilling almost 13,000 barrels of oil onto adjacent farmland and into […]

Advocates highlight issues of child care, family leave for women in Kansas and beyond

By: and - May 22, 2023

The “women’s bill of rights” passed by Kansas legislators bans transgender women from sharing bathrooms, prison facilities, domestic violence centers and other gender-specific spaces with cis women. The law looks nothing like what Wendy Doyle would like to see in a bill of rights for Kansas women. Doyle, president and CEO of United WE, a […]

Kansas, Missouri officials tout nonprofit to oversee 2026 World Cup preparations

By: - May 18, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A nonprofit governed by civic leaders and politicians from Kansas and Missouri will oversee preparations for Kansas City to host part of the 2026 FIFA World Cup, officials announced Thursday. Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas joined civic leaders at Arrowhead Stadium to […]

Kansas governor signs K-12 education bill, strikes portion slicing state aid to rural schools

By: and - May 18, 2023

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly struck down a K-12 budget bill provision that would have decreased funding to more than one-third of Kansas public schools, calling the provision potentially “devastating” for rural communities.  “This provision pulls the rug out from underneath rural school districts at the 11th hour. If this provision were enacted, it would […]

A center-pivot irrigation system is viewed in a field

Kansas legislation got ‘watered down’ but will help aquifer conservation efforts

By: - May 12, 2023

Kansas state representatives this spring voted for “historic” legislation spending more than $50 million a year on preserving groundwater and restoring the state’s reservoirs. By the time the Senate finished with the bill, it was “watered down” but “a good start.” Rep. Lindsay Vaughn, D-Overland Park, said when lawmakers and farm and environmental groups come […]

A piece of lead pipe removed from Jerry Land’s yard in Olathe shows a layer of lining inside the pipe that indicates the city’s water supply provided a thin film that prevented the pipe from leeching lead into the home’s water. (Carlos Moreno/KCUR)

EPA estimates more than 54,000 lead pipes remain in Kansas

By: - April 6, 2023

More than 54,000 lead service pipes carry drinking water to Kansas families, according to a new estimate from the Environmental Protection Agency. New lead water pipes have been banned for more than 30 years. But the EPA estimates that 9.2 million American households still get their water through aging lead pipes. About 0.6% of those […]

A landfill covered with dirt

Fires, trash and stench: Kansas landfill sparks dispute between rural neighbors and owner

By: - April 3, 2023

EASTON — Residents had complained to their local officials for months before Kansas environmental regulators investigated a trash mountain forming in a Leavenworth County landfill that is only permitted to take construction debris. By the time staffers inspected the facility, the situation was so severe a fire ripped through the landfill a few days later, […]

A view of electricity transmission lines stretching across a partly cloudy sky above a field

Missouri, Kansas utilities back bills to reestablish monopoly on transmission projects

By: - March 20, 2023

Missouri’s largest electric utility believes a bill aimed at reducing competition and giving monopoly providers an advantage in building transmission lines will avoid cost overruns and deliver better results for customers. In its home state, where it stands to benefit, Ameren Missouri has offered its full-throated support to legislation aimed at giving the company the […]

Gary Salsman, vice president of field operations for TC Energy, testifies to a joint meeting of two Kansas House committees on March 14, 2023, about a rupture on the Keystone pipeline that spilled almost 13,000 barrels of oil in northern Kansas

Keystone executive gives Kansas legislators vague answers on oil spill cleanup

By: - March 14, 2023

TOPEKA — Owners of the Keystone pipeline still don’t know why it ruptured in northern Kansas, spilling almost 13,000 barrels of oil into Mill Creek and onto surrounding farmland, an executive of the company said Tuesday. Gary Salsman, vice president of field operations for TC Energy, which owns the Keystone pipeline, testified before a joint […]