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Week Six of the Kansas Legislative Session This week brought further committee hearings, and debate and action on numerous bills by both the House and Senate Chambers. Find more details on this week’s legislative action, below. Hazardous Chemical Spill Notification Bill Advanced On Thursday, February 18 the House Chamber passed House Bill 2155 on emergency final action with an 85-36 vote. The bill would authorize the Kansas Dept. Health and Environment (KDHE) to establish reportable minimum quantities of hazardous chemical spills in agency regulations. Currently, all spills of hazardous chemicals must be reported to KDHE, regardless of the amount. This bill would also...

No matter how old we get, there’s something special about getting an unexpected box. It’s almost like Christmas as we break open the package and check out the contents. It’s that feeling that Nutrients for Life Foundation, the only educational voice serving the fertilizer industry, wants school teachers nationwide to have as we celebrate National Agriculture Day on March 23. That’s why I’m inviting you to become a “Fertilizer Fun Box” sponsor. The Boxes contain hands-on soil science activities illustrating the importance of soil, fertilizer, and the 4R stewardship efforts of farmers. You can donate...

Below is courtesy of Ag Retailers Association. As most of the nation faces sever winter weather, ARA and Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association (KARA) seek to inform members about an Emergency Declaration issued last night by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The Emergency Declaration will be in effect through March 4, 2021, or the end of the emergency. Response Resources Below you will find resources to help you respond and prepare for more severe winter weather. Please reference and distribute this information as needed to your team. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) How to...

Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association (KARA) has submitted comments to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on its draft nationwide biological evaluations for the registration review of atrazine, simazine, and propazine relative to the potential effects on threatened and endangered species and their designated critical habitats (draft evaluations). KARA cited Atrazine's strong record of safe use, benefits of the protectant in Kansas' agricultural production, environmental benefits through Atrazine's moisture preservation and the overall economic benefits of the weed control product. Use the button to the left to view the entire comment submitted to...

Ford B. West, age 73 of Davidsonville, Maryland died surrounded by his family on Sunday, February 14 after a 15-year medical adventure with metastatic, castrate resistant, prostate cancer. Ford was born on December 11, 1947 in Murphy, North Carolina to Venson and Evelyn Ford West. He graduated from Andrews High School in 1966 and Mars Hill College in 1970. He was a member of the Mars Hill football team, tri-captain of the 1969 team, active in student government, and listed in the Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. During...

Week Five of the Kansas Legislative Session Scores of new bills were introduced again this week on a wide range of issues as the Kansas Legislature approached the February 12 deadline for non-exempt committee bill introductions. This week also brought further committee hearings on bills relating to the state unemployment insurance trust fund. Numerous hearings have already been scheduled for the coming week which may be shortened due to pending winter weather. Kansas Economic Recovery Bill Sent to Governor This week, the House passed Senate Bill 15 on a vote of 122-1. This bill...

Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association (KARA) has submitted proponent testimony in support of proposed amendments to the Kansas Noxious Weed Act Regulations. The Kansas Dept. of Agriculture (KDA) has issued a public notice of its proposal to amend these agency regulations following the passage of amendments to the Noxious Weed Act by the Kansas Legislature in 2018. The act requires the Secretary of Agriculture to adopt rules and regulations to declare certain species of plants as noxious weeds in the state. In developing these proposed regulations, KDA sought input from the Noxious Weed...

Week Four of the Kansas Legislative Session This week brought continued discussions in multiple committees on the issue of fraud on the Kansas state unemployment fund. It is thought that fraudulent claims paid-out over the last year could be as high as $400 million. Regarding the total number of new unemployment claims, Kansas is second only to the state of Illinois. Governor Laura Kelly has budgeted money for IT system upgrades for the Kansas Dept. of Labor (KDOL) in order to respond to the problem, and legislation has been introduced to hold...

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 has posted online the Compliance Assistance Webinar held Aug. 25, 2020, hosted by its Enforcement and Compliance Assurance staff. The webinar includes a discussion about Risk Management Program rule changes that affect agricultural facilities and a session for questions and researched answers. Section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act requires facilities that use extremely hazardous substances to develop risk management plans to prevent accidental releases that can cause serious harm to the public and the environment. In November 2019, EPA finalized changes to...

Governor Laura Kelly announced the launch of the "Find My Vaccine" mapping tool to assist in location of sites administering COVID-19 vaccines in Kansas. The page recommends Kansans in vaccine phase 1 and 2 use the tool to find providers offering the vaccine. To view the page, visit: https://www.kansasvaccine.gov/160/Find-My-Vaccine The governor stated vaccines may not be available yet at certain sites included on the map, but wanted the public to be aware of the tool. The website includes statistics, safety, availability, providers and much more. A frequently asked questions section also contains answers...

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