Author

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.

Smithfield withdraws request for CAFO permits environmentalists criticized as too lax

By: - November 1, 2021

The global meat producer operating some of Missouri’s largest industrial hog operations has withdrawn requests to convert 10 of its permits to what environmental groups say would be more lenient ones. Smithfield Foods Inc., which has a history of environmental violations in Missouri, operates some of the largest concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, in […]

As EPA cracks down on ‘forever chemicals,’ Missouri to start testing drinking water

By: - October 29, 2021

Missouri could start testing small drinking water systems for harmful “forever chemicals” by the end of the year as the federal government ramps up its own regulatory efforts.  Missouri Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Susan Bloomer said the agency would start sampling drinking water systems serving fewer than 3,300 under a grant from EPA and […]

Environmental advocates say Evergy can shutter two more coal plants within decade

By: - October 28, 2021

KANSAS CITY — Evergy can retire two more coal-burning power plants within the decade without sacrificing affordability or massively increasing rates, environmental advocates say in a new report. The electric utility, which serves 1.6 million customers in Kansas and Missouri, is scheduled to stop burning coal at its Lawrence plant by the end of 2023. […]

Evergy customers in Kansas could soon get help to make homes more energy efficient

By: - October 25, 2021

KANSAS CITY — When Ashok Gupta and his wife bought their home, adding insulation to their walls and roof and investing in energy-efficient appliances was a no-brainer knowing they would save money in the long run through lower energy bills. But Gupta, a senior energy economist for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said myriad barriers […]

Permit for Ameren Missouri’s Labadie coal plant was issued lawfully, commission says

By: - October 12, 2021

Missouri’s Clean Water Commission agreed Tuesday that environmental regulators were correct to issue a permit allowing the state’s largest coal-fired plant to discharge superheated water into the Missouri River despite environmentalists’ contention the utility operating it should invest in newer technology. The commission’s vote upheld a determination by the Administrative Hearing Commission that a permit […]

For-profit federal prison an understaffed ‘hell hole’ of violence, death and drugs

By: - October 7, 2021

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — Dangerous understaffing, pervasive drugs and a stockpile of weapons have transformed a private detention center in Kansas into a “hell hole” where violence is routine and inmates are still on lockdown after one was beaten to death this summer. The Leavenworth Detention Center, a pretrial lockup run by the nation’s largest private […]

Study: More than 80% of Missouri, 60% of Kansas kids have lead in their blood

By: - September 30, 2021

Children in Missouri had elevated levels of lead in their blood at a greater rate than almost any other state, according to a massive national study published this week.  And more than 80% of Missouri children had some level of lead in their blood.  The study, authored by doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital and Quest […]

Springfield families accuse company of contaminating drinking water with carcinogen

By: - September 29, 2021

A federal lawsuit filed Wednesday claims Springfield residents whose homes are supplied with well water were exposed to a chemical known to cause cancer.  Northrop Grumman, a Virginia-based aerospace and defense company, knew but failed to notify area residents for more than a decade about the extent to which trichloroethylene, or TCE, had seeped from […]

Evergy scales back plans to add solar power by 2024

By: - September 23, 2021

Evergy will keep open part of its Lawrence, Kansas, coal plant to run occasionally on natural gas despite earlier plans to shutter it completely and fall short of earlier pledges to add massive amounts of solar power to the electric grid, the utility revealed in regulatory filings this week.  Earlier this year, Evergy filed its […]

A man with a microphone is addressing a crowd of about 200 to 300 people in the rotunda of the Missouri Capitol.

Missouri lawmakers look to undermine Biden COVID vaccine mandate

By: and - September 15, 2021

Members of the Missouri House on Wednesday floated the idea of pursuing legislation to undermine a mandate from the Biden administration meant to increase vaccination rates in the U.S.  The House Judiciary Committee held what Rep. David Evans said was the first in a series of discussions about vaccine mandates, including an executive order President […]

‘Dangling by a thread’: Nursing home industry warns of staff exodus over vaccine mandates

By: and - September 15, 2021

A federal mandate requiring nursing home staff members to be vaccinated against COVID-19 could worsen an already severe worker shortage, an advocate for the industry warned Missouri lawmakers Tuesday. Nikki Strong, executive director of the Missouri Health Care Association, told members of a Missouri House subcommittee on Tuesday that she didn’t believe the federal mandate […]

Spire STL Pipeline can keep operating for now despite court ruling on ‘self-dealing’

By: - September 14, 2021

The embattled Spire STL Pipeline can keep operating for up to 90 days while federal regulators weigh its fate over the coming months.  The order, issued Tuesday morning by federal regulators, saves the pipeline from a court order that was expected to shut it down. Spire STL Pipeline is a 65-mile natural gas pipeline running […]