Pretty Bad Air, Even though it’s been Windy

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There have been some pretty strong winds the last couple weeks.  I look forward to that because if the wind is going to be blowing over 15 mph, then there are burning bans.  By that I mean that farmers/ranchers and such can’t lite their grass on fire and let it burn.

I hate this.  I understand all the issues involved, but no one seems to be in charge of the whole process.  I’ve been riding back and forth to Lawrence on gravel, the last week, and all the burning along this road is people burning ditches and other grass that has nothing to do with cattle.

Burning permits shouldn’t be issued for ditches.  That is just laziness, plus most of the time, no one goes through the ditches first, so many plastic bottles burn too, which is really bad air.

Yesterday, in Kansas, a semi truck driver from Oklahoma, a 39 year old man, died of smoke inhalation when he drove into a fire, stopped, got stuck and tried to turn around.  This was on pavement.  It is so sad.  Obviously, there should have been something in place to change this outcome.

Since our new “president” has proposed big budget cuts for the EPA, this is probably only going to get worse.  I was thinking about it yesterday, as I was riding.

Nearly every stream and pond I ride by is full of algae.  This is from fertilizers and livestock waste.  These creeks run into the Kansas River, where all the cities along it gets their water.  This includes both Topeka and Lawrence.

I don’t get the whole plan.  I assume that both republicans and democrats alike, want clean water and air.  For themselves and their children.   We obviously need someone to ride shotgun over us to attain this.  People, left to their own, will not take personal responsibility for this.  So why cut the funds to manage these things.  So stupid, as Mr. Trump might tweet.

Anyway, it is going to be 70 again today.  And windy.  The burning ban, Red Alert Day, is only from 11am to 6 pm. so it is going to be a little smokey.  Like I said above, no one seems to be regulating it.

Burning the grass for cattle.

Then it gets smokey.

Burn map from a couple days ago.

Burn map when it is less windy. This is when it really sucks.

20 thoughts on “Pretty Bad Air, Even though it’s been Windy

  1. Tony

    The pasture burning is weird to me. I know in WI there are many dairy farms. I never see pasture land burning. Maybe state of WI does not allow it. But what do I know on this I am not a farmer. Maybe Kansas residents should speak up to their state elected officers and seek a change?

     
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  2. Blaine Chambers

    Hi Steve,

    “Nearly every stream and pond I ride by is full of algae. This is from fertilizers and livestock waste. These creeks run into the Kansas River, where all the cities along it gets their water. This includes both Topeka and Lawrence”

    Please be careful which stream or pond you let Tucker swim and drink from?

     
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    1. C-Span Caller # 6

      DR,
      Please do not provide reasonable fact based information in this forum that educates the ignorant. It’s just not the American way.

      People are entitled to their opinions and biases and you’ve ruined this for many today.

      How can you even sleep at night?

       
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      1. DR

        You are right, the unbiased reporting of NPR has no place on an internet blog.

        Living in Kansas City, the smoke has dissipated by the time it reaches me and I’m glad that such burning does not happen locally for me. I understand the rancher and I understand the need for clean air. I think it’s legal in Kansas because people want it to be legal in Kansas. The farmers and ranchers in Kansas carry a big political clout. I just don’t see an initiative from folks in Topeka, Lawrence and Johnson County changing things. Western Kansas just carries too much clout.

         
  3. nancy

    Trump and Republican were mandated to remove all environment protection laws since it is job killing. And they want to downsize or eliminate EPA agency, so I won’t be able to enforce any rules.

    And the EPA is controlled by polluting industry insiders.

    you can hope that the employees will be able to fight these guys but it will be hard since the GOP controls everything.

     
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  4. KrakatoaEastofJava

    I wonder if the OK truck driver’s fire was directly caused by a farmer / rancher setting it (on-purpose). If so, I would hope that there are no state or federal laws protecting them from liability for his death. That’s very sad.

     
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  5. William Comer

    Obviously it has nothing to do with funding. Current conditions were caused under the full funding.

    The EPA did such a good job with the river in Colorado with all their funding.

     
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    1. als

      The majority of EPA regulations apply to industries such as mining and chemical production, etc. Until just recently the EPA did not regulate much within agriculture, most of their regulations applied only confined animal feeding operations. Regulations that apply to crop production was (and mostly still is) handled at the state level. Iowa is the top corn producing state, along with being #1 on the list of States With The Nastiest Water. Governor-for-life Terry Braindead has not wanted to force new regulations upon his lobbiest buddies at the Iowa Farm Bureau. Nor has he wanted to increasing funding that would be used to help farmers institute new farming practices so they’d meet the new regulations. Braindead has instead opted to have the DNR create a voluntary list of “Best Methods and Practices for Crop Production”. He also has chosen not to increase funding that would help those farmers who volunteer to pay for those methods and practices. So basically Iowa’s water is going to get nastier and nastier but on the bright side, when you’re already #1 and your water gets nastier, you won’t get moved up on the list!
      Iowa’s neighbor to the North has a similar voluntary methods and practices, they’ve had it for over 20 years, along with significant funding to help those voluntary farmers. Oh and by the way, Minnesota has some of the nations cleanest water.

       
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    1. als

      You must be crazy or you are a “new” reader of Steve’s blog. If my memory serves me correctly and I’m not crazy, then for the past 3-4 years in early spring Steve has mentioned the grassland burning of Kansas. But… perhaps 3-4 years ago Steve was in cahoots with CNN, NBC and ABC and wrote a lot of FAKE NEWS?

       
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      1. C-Span Caller # 6

        Yep. Every year, like clockwork it’s Steve Tilford with his smoky Kansas rant. Pisses me off because it’s just like my wife and her stupid celebrations…..

        “You forgot my birthday” and “You forgot our anniversary”…..

        Every year with the same damn thing.

         
      2. als

        #6,
        Next time your wife accuses you of forgetting her birthday, or your anniversary, or whatever of hers, just reply with, “How can I forget you if you never leave?”
        Its guaranteed to work, you won’t even have to buy the ‘I’m sorry I forgot’ flower bouquet.

         
      3. als

        Nope, sure don’t. But the really weird thing about is, I now always remember my ex-wife’s birthday.

         
  6. donkybhoy

    Steve, not sure why you hang out in Kansas during the burn season.

    Seems crazy to do that to yourself.

     
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  7. KrakatoaEastofJava

    Burning grassland has zero calories. Add a pinch of kale and your day will be filled with antioxidants!

     
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  8. Joe Montana

    I was wondering who was messing with my weather its these dang J-Hawk Ranchers burning the hell out of they’re grass. I aint seen no snow and winter seems over!! Aint the Railhead for Texass Beef cattle in old Dodge City thats the cog that keeps Amerika in the Big Ring!! Gwd dang thats alot of smoke and I grew up in de Burgh in The Sixties Yikes!!!

     
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