Energy & Environment

Brian Grimmett/KMUW

Overnight temperatures have begun to dip near or below freezing. That can mean increased utility bills, and for many low-income families, increased financial pressure as they try to pay them.

File Photo / Kansas News Service

Kansas’ energy-regulating agency is trying to determine why permits were issued for half a dozen wastewater wells whose operators didn’t accurately inform nearby residents of their rights to protest the wells.

The deficiencies were discovered by a resident of Matfield Green in Chase County who objects to the wells, into which companies can pour hundreds or thousands of barrels of oil- and gas-related wastewater per day.

Cindy Hoedel wants the Kansas Corporation Commission to shut down the wells and make the companies in question redo the application process.

Kansas Geological Survey

The governments of Douglas County and Lawrence are calling for changes to Kansas regulations amid an energy company’s proposal to pump wastewater into wells in rural Eudora.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

The fight over an oil-related waste disposal well in Kansas’ Flint Hills has broadened into a campaign to protest similar wells across several counties and lobby lawmakers for regulatory changes.

Last month residents of Chase, Morris and other counties known for their rolling topography, open pastures and tallgrass ecology lost their effort to block operation of a saltwater injection well near Strong City and the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service/File photo

Kansas energy regulators have given the green light for an oil company to dispose of production-related wastewater in the Flint Hills — a plan that had met with resistance from residents.

EcoFest

Environmental sustainability is the focus of EcoFest in east Wichita on Saturday. Organizer Vivien Minshull-Ford says the celebration centers around green living and eco-stewardship. She says there will be an eco-conscious art exhibit, demonstrations, crafts for kids and a bus that's been converted into an eco-friendly home.

"People will be able to go on tours," Minshull-Ford says. "It’s put together by a couple of artists who are very clever at doing that sort of thing, and it’s off the grid so it has solar panels, a compost toilet and they live in it."

Jewlissa Frickey / Westar Energy

Environmental regulations and commitments to address global warming are certainly not on terra firma. The Trump administration has vowed to ease emissions controls for power plants and to get coal miners back to work.

The Jeffrey Energy Center, in St. Mary’s, Kansas, near Topeka, is one such coal-fired power plant.

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