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.

Legislature on the verge of requiring Missouri schools test, filter water for lead

By: - May 6, 2022

Missouri lawmakers are poised to require schools test and, potentially, filter drinking water to prevent lead poisoning, making the state one of just a handful that require administrators to meet standards stricter than federal regulations. The state offers grants for schools to pay for water testing, but there is no requirement to test, and only […]

Missouri Senate approves eminent domain reform that wouldn’t kill Grain Belt Express

By: - May 5, 2022

A years-long effort to halt development of a massive electrical transmission line across Missouri gave way early Thursday morning to a compromise bill endorsed by the energy company.  For years, Chicago-based Invenergy has been developing a 4,000 megawatt transmission line, called Grain Belt Express, expected to carry clean energy from southwest Kansas across Missouri and […]

Preventing pollution or creating more greenhouse gases? Missouri debates ‘advanced recycling’

By: - April 28, 2022

Missouri lawmakers are pushing to ease state regulations on so-called “advanced recycling,” a process proponents say diverts hard-to-recycle plastics from landfills and makes them into new products.  The bill’s sponsor hopes to bring the massive facilities into the state to create jobs while saving the environment from plastic.  But the promise made by advanced recycling […]

Missouri Senate overwhelmingly approves bill requiring schools test, filter water for lead

By: - April 25, 2022

Schools in Missouri would be required to test drinking water for lead, and install filters if it’s above safe levels, under a bill that won near-unanimous approval Monday in the state Senate. The proposal, amended onto a separate bill by Sen. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur, passed on a 32-1 vote. “Let’s make sure our students, […]

Missouri environmentalists worry bill undermines law meant to boost renewable energy

By: - April 13, 2022

Environmental advocates are raising concerns that a Missouri law enacted last year to speed up utilities’ transition to renewable energy may soon be changed to make it easier for companies to keep coal plants partially open.  Last year, Missouri and Kansas enacted laws allowing electric utilities to “securitize” aging coal plants and retire them early […]

Known to be toxic for a century, lead still poisons thousands of Midwestern kids

By: and - April 11, 2022

When the pediatrician recommended Lisa Pascoe have her then-toddler tested for lead poisoning, she thought there was no way he could be at risk. Everything in her South St. Louis home had been remodeled. But then the nurse called to say her son’s blood lead level was dangerously high — five times the level federal […]

Missouri Senate committee takes up bill targeting Grain Belt Express transmission line

By: - April 5, 2022

The Missouri Senate is poised to take up a long-running effort to stymie the Grain Belt Express, a massive transmission line meant to carry wind energy from southwest Kansas across three states.  The $2 billion project would carry 4,000 megawatts of energy, dropping some off in Missouri before ending at the Illinois-Indiana border. It’s been […]

Missouri House bill would cut down on poisonous lead in school drinking water

By: and - March 29, 2022

Missouri children would be better protected from lead poisoning under a state legislative bill to  require schools to nearly rid their drinking water of the dangerous toxin. The bill, heard Monday by the House Conservation and Natural Resources Committee, would require schools to test drinking water, remove old coolers and filter water where lead is […]

As CAFO lawsuit heads to Missouri Supreme Court, counties weigh options

By: - March 21, 2022

As a fight over who can regulate industrial hog and cattle operations awaits action by the Missouri Supreme Court, counties that sought more stringent protections against them wait in limbo.  The Missouri Supreme Court is expected to hear an appeal by county commissioners who sought to regulate concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, after a […]

Bill targeting St. Louis-area EV charging mandates clears Missouri House

By: - March 10, 2022

A bill meant to tie the hands of St. Louis-area officials who want to require building owners to install electric vehicle chargers cleared the Missouri House Thursday.  If passed, it would prohibit cities from passing building codes requiring businesses to install chargers unless the municipalities pay. “I’m all for electric cars. Bring them on. I […]

Missouri fines CAFO $18,000 for polluting streams with 300,000 gallons of waste

By: - March 9, 2022

Regulators ordered an industrial hog farm in northern Missouri to pay more than $18,000 for spilling 300,000 gallons of manure into miles of nearby streams.  An advocate for environmentally responsible agriculture called that “pathetic,” noting the fine amounted to less than $0.04 per gallon of waste spilled.  “You’re talking about a multi-billion dollar, multinational company […]

Missouri bill that would weaken hazardous waste rules returns for another year

By: - March 4, 2022

A GOP lawmaker is once again working to reel in what he sees as overly aggressive enforcement of hazardous waste laws by Missouri regulators he contends are “terrifying” small businesses in his district. But critics say the change would put Missourians at greater risk of exposure to dangerous chemicals.  “The people of Missouri are not […]