Mayor Carl Brewer wants state and federal officials to cut Wichita a break on its air quality readings on April 6 because the haze stemmed from range burning in the Flint Hills.
“We recognize the absolute necessity for the range burning in the Flint Hills,” Brewer said in a news release. “However, Wichita and our surrounding area should not be penalized for the short-term air quality problems that result from that event.”
If Brewer is successful, environmental officials would ignore the April 6 air quality readings, which exceeded federal standards.
Wichita has flirted with exceeding national air quality standards for years. If the city surpasses national standards, it would likely have to come up with plans to reduce air pollution that could be costly to residents and businesses.
City officials say if federal officials designated Wichita as a non-attainment area, it could cost the community $10 million a year.