Green news roundup: Westar agrees to pay for pollution violation, and more
Weekly environmental news roundup for Kansas, for the week of Jan. 24 - 31.
Sun, Jan 31, 2010 at 09:23 PM
Swine flu risk up
• A 78-year-old woman from Wichita, Kans., died last week, marking the 27th death in the state related to swine flu, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported. The woman was at greater risk because of existing health conditions that placed her at higher risk. The flu sickens at its peak during the months of February and March, according to KDHE officials. (Source: Kansas City Star
Large anti-pollution settlement paid
• Westar Energy announced a proposal to settle a lawsuit by the U.S. Department of Justice because of Clear Air Act Violations in the company’s largest coal-fired plant west of Topeka, Kans. Westar agreed to spend $500 million to reduce harmful air pollution, $3 million as a civil penalty, and $6 million on environmental mitigation projects. (Sources: KCTribune
, The University Daily Kansan
EPA helps pay to move residents out of toxic town
• Government officials promised residents of Treece to move residents out of this toxic town even if lawmakers disapprove $350,000 for the state's part of the buyout. Approximately 100 people still live in Treece, a town in southeastern Kansas contaminated by millions of tons of lead and zinc mine waste. The EPA agreed to pay 90 percent of the $3.5 million that it would cost to move the residents, but the residing 10 percent is at the risk of budget cuts. (Source: New York Times
Cultural tradition v. environmental harm
• Lawmakers in Kansas are faced with a tough task to balance the needs and traditions of ranchers in the Flint Hills and the health of residents in the outside area. Ranchers have been burning the Flint Hills pastures for decades to revitalize the land, but the toxic emissions have been affecting residents in nearby towns and cities, including the Kansas City area. (Source: Kansas City Star
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