Pesticides are a big environmental story. And under Trump, they are much in the news. But pesticide regulation, and its political, environmental and public health fallout, is an older and more complex tale. The Backgrounder explains how the rules work (and don't), and provides leads and resources for your reporting.
Great Plains (IA KS ND NE MO SD)
"The Trump administration has named Wisconsin’s top environmental regulator to lead the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Midwest regional office."
"Nebraska regulators will hear final arguments for and against TransCanada Corp’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline this week before deciding whether to approve its route later this year, the last big hurdle for the long-delayed project after President Donald Trump gave it federal approval."
A federal court has ruled unconstitutional a Utah law that made undercover filming of livestock operations illegal. What's it mean for similar laws elsewhere? The latest WatchDog has the story, plus news on protecting whistleblowers, a digital journalist's legal guide, shielding of climate info and leaked government reports.
"Way up in northern North Dakota lies an old oilfield with a problem 60 years in the making."
"The Missouri Department of Agriculture announced July 7 it is banning the sale and use of dicamba products in Missouri effective immediately, after a second summer with numerous complaints of dicamba herbicides drifting and causing damage."
Even though big proposed budget cuts may be DOA for the Interior Department, it doesn't mean there aren't a wide range of land and resource-related stories emerging from the debates. The latest TipSheet sets the scene and offers a half-dozen ways to localize the Interior Department funding story.
"The grasslands of U.S. Great Plains have seen one of the sharpest increases in large and dangerous wildfires in the past three decades, with their numbers more than tripling between 1985 and 2014, according to new research."
"The Dakota Access pipeline leaked 84 gallons of oil in South Dakota early last month, which an American Indian tribe says bolsters its argument that the pipeline jeopardizes its water supply and deserves further environmental review."
"Every day is a test of endurance on the [Standing Rock Sioux] reservation, which encompasses 3,600 square miles of windswept prairie in North and South Dakota. Freezing in winter, baking in summer, the reservation's residents brave the elements in clusters of trailer parks and prefabricated homes. Some 40 percent of its 8,200 people live below the poverty line. Like other Native American communities, Standing Rock suffers from high rates of unemployment, alcoholism and suicide. The health care system is a shambles, and housing is so scarce that multiple families often cram into a single dwelling."