Kansas Department of Health and Environment

This image depicts a mosquito in the process of ingesting her blood meal through the host’s skin surface. Her abdomen had taken on a red coloration because of its growing contents of host blood

Kansas reports three deaths from West Nile virus as cases reach five-year high

BY: - September 22, 2023

Three people in Kansas have died from West Nile virus infections this year, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. KDHE officials issued a warning for a high risk of the mosquito-borne disease on Sep. 13. The warning covers the entire state except for the southeast corner, which is under a moderate risk. […]

State official on Kansas Medicaid unwinding: ‘We probably could’ve done a better job’

BY: - August 29, 2023

TOPEKA — After describing long wait times, sluggish mail returns and unprecedented call center volumes, Kansas Department of Health and Environment officials announced — two weeks after their initial update — that they are trying to turn things around in the beleaguered department’s Medicaid renewal system. “Over the last year or so, we’ve received a […]

Nurses draw vaccine doses from a vial as Maryland residents receive their second dose of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine March 25, 2021, at the Cameron Grove Community Center in Bowie, Maryland. The vaccinations were provided by Prince George's County's Mobile Units as vaccinations in Maryland are now over the 20% threshold. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Hospitalizations in Kansas and nationwide signal ‘summer surge’ of COVID-19

BY: - August 4, 2023

TOPEKA — A national summer uptick in COVID-19 cases has arrived, but Kansas physicians are still waiting to see if cases in the state follow national trends. Across the U.S., hospitalizations have been on the rise since the beginning of July, the first increase seen this year, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention […]

A landfill in Leavenworth County caught fire last year and has been the subject of complaints from neighbors about blowing trash and noxious smoke.

Kansas regulators issue cease and desist to landfill beset by complaints of fires, stench

BY: - July 25, 2023

Kansas environmental regulators instructed a Leavenworth County landfill already under scrutiny for fires and environmental violations to stop accepting waste until further notice. The landfill’s operator, Shawn Britz, said the facility, which accepts construction and demolition waste, voluntarily closed to new drop-offs two weeks ago to give its workers a break. But in a cease […]

Chris and Bill Pannbacker of Washington County in northcentral Kansas stand at the crest of a steep hill on the family farm looking north to the creek and grazing land sprayed with 13,000 barrels of crude oil that escaped when the Canadian-based TC Energy's Keystone pipeline ruptured Dec. 7. A report for federal regulators says the accident was because of problems with design, construction and operation of the pipeline, while TC Energy blamed a faulty weld in a bend that cracked under stress

Massive oil spill distorts Kansas couple’s confidence in the integrity of Keystone pipeline

BY: - June 14, 2023

Bill and Chris Pannbacker, who farm Washington County land tainted by an oil pipeline break in December, are anxious about potential of another rupture.

Supporters of reproductive health rights protest at a rally at South Park in Lawrence on June 4, 2022

Kansas plans to report 2022 abortion numbers this month

BY: - June 5, 2023

TOPEKA — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment plans to release annual abortion data before the June 30 deadline, state officials say. The agency typically provides an annual report in March that details the number of abortions provided in Kansas during the previous calendar year. The data provides insight into the age, race and […]

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 […]

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 pipeline owner says recovery of spilled oil into Kansas creek is complete

BY: - May 15, 2023

LINCOLN, Neb. — A Canadian pipeline company says it has completed the recovery of oil spilled into a Kansas creek following a record leak on the Keystone Pipeline. TC Energy, in a news release Thursday, said it continues to restore the shoreline of Mill Creek as well as adjacent areas affected when the high-pressure, 36-inch […]

Ed Irvin, co-owner of Just Beyond Paradise Winery adjacent to a family farm seeking a state permit for a 1,000-hog confined feeding operation, says state regulators should issue the permit only if the operators install proper animal waste handling systems to protect the environment.

Legacy of lax regulations muddles views on planned 1,000-hog farm in Leavenworth County

BY: - April 10, 2023

A legacy of regulatory neglect on a Leavenworth County family farm complicates the community conversation about plans to expand a confined hog operation.

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, […]

KDHE Secretary Janet Stanek affirms safety of COVID-19 vaccine to lawmakers questioning Kansas health response to the COVID-19 pandemic, during a Jan.11, 2023 committee meeting. (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

With Medicaid ‘continuous coverage’ ending soon, many Kansans may lose access to care

BY: - January 11, 2023

TOPEKA — With federal “continuous coverage” Medicaid protections ending, thousands of Kansans are expected to be dropped from medical programs in the coming months.  While President Joe Biden is expected to extend the public health emergency issued for COVID-19, one that allowed for health-related measures and the continuous coverage policy, states will no longer have […]

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment says Kansas experienced a 54% surge in drug overdose fatalities in the first six months of 2021 compared to that period in 2020. KDHE attributed about 45% of those deaths to ingestion of fentanyl, which is often added to other drugs such as cocaine and heroin. (Getty Images)

Federal funds to help Kansas fight opioid crisis, target children at higher risk of drug abuse

BY: - December 30, 2022

TOPEKA — Millions in funding for child drug addiction prevention will be poured into Kansas communities where children are more at risk of exposure to opioids and drug abuse. Gov. Laura Kelly’s administration announced the funding Thursday, saying the Kansas Department of Health and Environment received nearly $3 million from the U.S. Department of Justice […]