The Environment

This section highlights some of the most helpful resources about Environmental issues in KCResearch on the topics listed below. Many of the resources also aim to answer some of the questions that you might have. This guide will help answer questions like:

  • Is Kansas City making any efforts to encourage green development? If so, where are those developments taking place?
  • What is the air quality in Kansas City? How is air quality measured?
  • Does the drinking water in Parkville come from the Missouri River? How clean is it?

Air Quality

State of the Air, Report Card



These reports provided by the American Lung Association evaluate the air quality for all counties in Kansas and Missouri, and estimate the consequent potential health risks for the counties’ populations. The site also includes information about how air quality is measured, air quality rankings for various cities in the greater United States, and what citizens can do to improve air quality.

Missouri Air Quality Index Report

Kansas Air Quality Index Report

These sites allow users to generate a report providing air pollution data for counties or metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) with information dating from 1998 up to the present. The data includes the five major air pollutants monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency and regulated by the Clean Air Act: ground-level ozone, particle pollution (particulate matter), carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. Data sets go back as far as 1998.

Drinking Water

The Safe Drinking Water Query Form for the State of Kansas

The Safe Drinking Water Query Form for the State of Missouri

These websites allow public access to data about safe drinking water from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Safe Drinking Water Information System. Four search options — water system name, county name, population served, system status — return information concerning local drinking water systems and suppliers including possible violations of the EPA’s drinking water regulations.

State of Kansas Public Water Supply Annual Compliance Report for Calendar Year 2008

This report by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) provides a summary of Kansas water systems’ compliance with drinking water regulations, including violations of the maximum contaminant levels, treatment techniques, and monitoring requirements. Counties and municipalities on the Kansas side of the state line are covered in this resource. This is the most recent version of the report available.

Missouri Department of Natural Resources 2009 drinking water compliance Report

The compliance report from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) uses data from tests for the presence of chemicals that might endanger the quality of public water systems. The water systems for municipalities on the Missouri side of the state line are covered in this resource.

Green Development

MetroGreen Action Plan

MetroGreen, sponsored by the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), is a plan to build extensive trails and nature areas in the Kansas city Metropolitan area. The trails focus on environmentally responsible development that connects people to nature without causing extensive damage to the surroundings.

Green Impact Zone: Preliminary Baseline Data Report

The Green Impact Zone, in cooperation with Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), is working to demonstrate how green development can be used in an urban core. The Green Impact Zone initiative is an effort to concentrate resources — with funding, coordination, and public and private partnerships — in one specific area to demonstrate that a targeted effort can literally transform a community.

Redesigning Kansas City's Government District Using the Urban-Design Approach of Responsive Environments

Authored by Kansas State student, Jose Abraham, this thesis presents a hypothetical redesign of Kansas City’s downtown Government District, making use of the conceptual approach provided by Responsive Environments (1985). Abraham makes the argument that the Government district in Downtown Kansas City is presently underdeveloped in terms of environmental responsiveness, but has the potential to do so.

Hazardous Waste

Hazardous Waste Generator Handbook: A Guide to Complying with Kansas Hazardous Waste Generator Regulations Handbook

This report by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is designed to assist business owners and consumers to recognize when they generate hazardous waste and how to properly dispose of it. It also provides alternatives to hazardous waste disposal that still comply with the Kansas state laws regarding hazardous waste.

Electronics Scrap Management Rule

This website is designed to aid consumers with the proper disposal of electronics, some of which may be considered hazardous waste. Disposing of computer equipment can also pose a threat to your personal information if the harddrive is not properly cleared. The website outlines Missouri’s programs for the proper disposal of consumer electronics and computer devices.

Hazardous Waste Management: Laws and Tegulations

This website by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources provides a look at the laws concerning hazardous waste and hazardous waste disposal in the state of Missouri. Additionally, it provides links to federal laws on hazardous waste. The Hazardous Waste Laws in Development link is a useful tool for people to see what lawmakers are working on in regards to hazardous waste generation and disposal.

Lakes and Rivers

Missouri River Bed Degradation Reconnaissance Study

This report by the Kansas City branch of the Army Corps of Engineers discusses potential solutions to water resource problems as a result of bed degradation within the lower 498 miles of the Missouri River, part of which runs through the Kansas City Area.

Kansas City District: District Lakes

The Kansas City district of the Army Corps of Engineers hosts this website linking to information about different area lakes. To view more information about each lake either click on the name of the lake on the map or click on the name of the lake on the left-hand navigation menu. Each lake’s page has information about water quality and environmental and wildlife programs at the lake in addition to recreational activities offered.


Kansas Recycles: Curbside Programs

The Kansas Recycles initiative is sponsored by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) to promote recycling throughout the state. Their website lists curbside recycling programs throughout the Kansas. It also includes links to programs for users to access to their Websites along with driving directions, contact information, and information concerning accepted recyclable materials.

Missouri Recycling Economic Information Study: MOREIS

This report from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources examines the extent to which the recycling, remanufacturing, and reuse industry in Missouri provides economic benefits for Missourians.

Keep Kansas City Beautiful 2010: Annual Report

Bridging the Gap, a local recycling initiative and organization generates an annual report each year. This is the most recent annual report, providing information about recycling efforts in Kansas City.

Solid Waste Management

Solid Waste Policy Discussion Guide

This guide from Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) encourages waste management planning within the Kansas City region. It emphasizes the necessity of regional cooperation, landfill capacity, waste diversion and minimization, and local government action to improve waste management services and encourage responsible waste disposal.

Missouri Solid Waste Management Plan

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Solid Waste Management Program outlines objectives and strategies to assist Missourians in managing solid waste through disposal methods that are protective of both human and environmental health.

Kansas County Solid Waste Management Responsibilities

This brief guide from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment addresses some of the most useful strategies for solid waste management. Additionally it defines and provides examples of seven different types of solid waste and how to best dispose of those types.