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.

Keystone oil pipeline was pushed to bounds of its permit before Kansas spill

By: - March 14, 2023

TOPEKA — The Keystone oil pipeline was operating at the bounds of its permit when it burst and released almost 13,000 barrels of oil in northern Kansas, an executive from the company said Tuesday. Gary Salsman, vice president of field operations for TC Energy, which owns the Keystone pipeline, testified before a joint meeting of […]

Kansas House committee advances bills to conserve water in Ogallala Aquifer

By: - February 17, 2023

Members of a Kansas House committee on Thursday passed legislation meant to push officials in western Kansas to come up with ideas to conserve water in the disappearing Ogallala Aquifer. The legislation — along with a bill dedicating sales tax revenue to fund water projects — passed the House Water Committee on a voice vote with […]

Keystone pipeline owner blames Kansas spill on faulty weld, estimates $480M remediation cost

By: - February 9, 2023

TOPEKA — The Keystone oil pipeline’s massive spill in northern Kansas was likely caused by a faulty welding job, the company that owns the pipeline said Thursday. Meanwhile, a Kansas environmental group claimed that Canada-based TC Energy was attempting to “pass the buck” for design flaws that will likely cause more crude oil spills. The […]

‘It’s time to deal with this’: Kansas Water Authority wants to save Ogallala Aquifer

By: - December 16, 2022

COLBY, Kansas — Kansas should scrap its de facto policy of draining the Ogallala Aquifer, a state board decided Wednesday. Instead, the board said, the Kansas government should take steps to stop the decline of the aquifer and save it for future generations. “It has taken decades for this to be said formally in writing […]

keystone leak

Leak on Keystone Pipeline released more than half a million gallons of crude oil

By: and - December 9, 2022

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with additional details about response and reaction to the leak. LINCOLN — A leak from the Keystone Pipeline is estimated to have released 14,000 barrels of oil, or about 588,000 gallons, into Mill Creek, three miles east of Washington, Kansas. It was the largest leak to date on […]

Longhorned tick that can cause illness to cattle found in northern Missouri

By: - September 28, 2022

A species of tick known to cause severe weight loss in cattle has been discovered in northern Missouri, researchers from the University of Missouri reported this week. The longhorned tick was found in southern Missouri last year, according to a press release from the university. But Rosalie Ierardi, an anatomic pathologist at the MU College […]

‘Time bomb’ lead pipes set to be removed. But first water utilities have to find them.

By: - June 20, 2022

TRENTON, Mo. — It took three years for officials to notice lead was seeping into the city’s drinking water. Missouri regulators had given the green light in 2014 for Trenton to start adding monochloramine to its drinking water to disinfect it without the harmful byproducts of chlorine. But by 2017, the city noticed something alarming. […]

Why an ambitious effort to overhaul Kansas water management fell short

By: - May 16, 2022

The dire state of water in western Kansas is not in dispute. The aquifer Kansans out west rely on to irrigate crops and provide drinking water dropped by a foot in 2021.  “If you look at charts as to where it was … when they started irrigating and now, it’s alarming,” said the Kansas House […]

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 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 […]