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generates physiochemical and biological data from randomly selected streams to estimate overall compliance with state environmental regulations.

Recognizing the importance of energy conservation in decreasing global warming and climate change, Kansas provides assistance to low-income residents to make their homes more energy-efficient through the Kansas Warm Homes project. Volunteers from churches and civic and community organizations distribute energy conservation kits that include plastic window coverings, weather stripping, rope caulking, switch plate insulators, a door sweep, and florescent light bulbs. Volunteers also assist those who are unable to install kits on their own. The Kansas Energy Office of the Kansas Corporation Commission and the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation of the Kansas Development Finance Authority provide funding for the project.

In 2006, the Kansas Department of Transportation won national recognition for its efforts to protect the state's environment through the Kansas Prairie Ecosystem Restoration, Education, and Conservation Initiative. The purpose of the program is to protect endangered tall, mixed, and short-grass prairies that play a major role in preserving the habitats of the state's wildlife.

Although Topeka is the state capital, Wichita is the largest city in the state, in both population and area. Pollution in Wichita comes chiefly from motor vehicles, trains, and industries. City officials established the Air Quality Section of Environment Services to monitor the air quality around the city, perform asbestos inspections at demolition sites, and investigate complaints about air quality and hazardous materials. Kansas City partners with the Mid-America Regional Council to deal with air quality, watershed management, solid waste management, and green infrastructures. Initiatives include raising public awareness, protecting natural habitats, and promoting sustainable growth. In summer 2007, the Kansas City region failed to meet federal regulations established by the Environmental Protection Agency. The city immediately proposed plans to establish new emission controls on power plants, industrial boilers, and idling long-haul trucks. A voluntary initiative was also launched to educate the public about environmental threats posed by driving, painting, and using gas-powered lawn and gardening equipment.

SEE ALSo: Agriculture; Missouri; Oklahoma; Transportation.

BIBLIoGRAPHY. Environmental Protection Agency, www. epa.gov (cited October 2007); Kansas Department of Health and Environment, www.kdheks.gov (cited October 2007).

Elizabeth R. Purdy Independent Scholar

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