Environment

U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall, in photo, and U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, both Kansas Republicans, voted against an election-year spending bill pushed through the U.S. Senate by a narrow margin. The bill now moves to the U.S. House. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Marshall, Moran vote against Democrats’ economic legislation after marathon debate

BY: - August 8, 2022

Kansas' U.S. senators, Republicans Roger Marshall and Jerry Moran, voted against Democrats' latest spending bill touching on climate change, health care and tax fairness.

Historic lead mining and smelting in the Midwest left behind toxic levels of lead in soil that pose a health threat to locals when rain causes the toxin to spread. (Crysta Henthorne/KCUR)

Kansas, Nebraska researchers use plants to limit exposure to toxic lead in soil

BY: - August 8, 2022

In parts of the Midwest where lead mining and smelting lasted for over a century, communities are still dealing with toxic waste left behind by the industry. Lead, a dangerous neurotoxin, persists in the environment, including in water and soil, where it can pose a threat to the health of people living nearby. The risk […]

Coal piles in July 2019 in Wise County, Virginia. (Sarah Vogelsong/ Virginia Mercury)

U.S. Interior Department calls for states to submit mine cleanup proposals

BY: - August 3, 2022

The Interior Department asked states Wednesday to apply for $725 million made available this year to clean up abandoned mine sites as part of the 2021 infrastructure bill. The department officially opened a notice of funding opportunity, which gives states the avenue to request federal grants to close mine shafts, prevent the release of methane […]

President Joe Biden, at the White House on July 28, 2022, discusses details of proposed Democratic legislation addressing health care, climate issues and energy. (Screen shot from White House video)

U.S. Senate Democrats dive into details of surprise 725-page reconciliation bill

BY: - July 31, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden took a preliminary victory lap Thursday to celebrate Democrats striking a surprise deal on a sweeping legislative package that renewed hopes of historic action on the party’s health care, tax and climate goals. But just down Pennsylvania Avenue, Senate Democrats said they needed to read through the bill text to […]

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran urged his Kansas colleague Sen. Roger Marshall to change his vote to allow passage of a revised bill providing health care to veterans suffering from illness from exposure to toxic burn pits during deployments overseas. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Moran implores U.S. Senate GOP colleagues to reverse course on burn pit bill

BY: - July 28, 2022

TOPEKA — U.S. Sens. Jerry Moran and Roger Marshall of Kansas split on a procedural motion leading to blockage of a bill expanding veterans’ eligibility for health care and benefits for medical conditions tied to burn pits and other toxins during military deployments. The Senate motion failed Wednesday when Marshall and more than two dozen […]

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin makes a statement on Nov. 1, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Pete Marovich/Getty Images)

Manchin and U.S. Senate Democrats strike a deal on major health, climate, tax package

BY: and - July 27, 2022

WASHINGTON — West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer struck an agreement Wednesday for a Democrats-only reconciliation package that would allow negotiations on some Medicare prescription drugs, end corporate tax loopholes and address climate change as well as invest in energy projects. President Joe Biden in a statement on […]

Vintage and new items from discount stores pose a lead risk to consumers and are especially dangerous for children who often put their hands in their mouths. (Illustration by Brian Munoz and Samantha Horton)

Items with lead are easy to find at antique shops, discount stores. They’re also toxic.

BY: and - July 25, 2022

A vintage military-style trunk she bought at an eastern Michigan flea market when she was a teenager became a staple of Jennifer Poupard’s life. Poupard, now 37, originally bought it to store her CDs. Over the years the trunk — styled with leather handles and metal buckles — served as a container for shoes, a […]

OPINION
Wind farms stretch across fields to the north and south of I-70 in Kansas and Colorado. (Eric Thomas/Kansas Reflector)

We’re melting as we banter about the weather in Kansas

BY: - July 22, 2022

Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Eric Thomas directs the Kansas Scholastic Press Association and teaches visual journalism and photojournalism at the University of Kansas. Let’s talk about the weather. Yes, the weather. That […]

Wildfires like the one that ravaged family homes in Paradise, Kansas are among the reasons the governor is launching a new task force to assess how responding agencies can help prevent, respond and recover from these natural disasters. (Allison Kite/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas establishes task force to study and improve wildfire emergency response

BY: - July 21, 2022

TOPEKA — A new task force is focusing on ways communities can better prevent, respond and recover from wildfires. The formation of the group is a response to the many parts of Kansas struck by major wildfires within the past 10 years. The financial losses and threats to the safety of Kansas residents led the […]

Ian Thomas, Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant clean-up manager with the U.S. Army's Base Realignment and Closure entity, spoke Wednesday at a public meeting in De Soto about the lengthy soil and water remediation process designed to result in reuse of the property in Johnson County. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

U.S. Army outlines progress of environmental remediation at Kansas explosives plant

BY: - July 21, 2022

U.S. Army expressed optimism about the past seven years of work to remediate chemical pollution at the former Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant in De Soto.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) is followed by reporters as he arrives Dec. 16, 2021, for a caucus meeting with Senate Democrats at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Climate change legislation still could pass Congress this year, Manchin insists

BY: - July 16, 2022

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III on Friday held open the prospect of Congress passing significant climate legislation yet this year, denying reports he’s tanked the effort by walking away from talks with leadership. The reports have brought a flood of criticism for Manchin from fellow members of Congress, who say the very survival of the […]

An oil base camp at Galbraith Lake in Alaska. (U.S. Geological Survey)

Interior’s offshore drilling plan blasted by both sides on U.S. Senate committee

BY: - July 16, 2022

A growing debate over the federal government’s plans to either allow more oil and gas production to curb inflation or limit drilling to achieve climate goals spilled into a U.S. Senate spending panel’s hearing Wednesday. With Interior Secretary Deb Haaland testifying, members of the Senate Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee argued about the department’s recent five-year proposal […]