While a Tennessee governor vetoed "ag-gag" legislation in that state, bills criminalizing the collection of information about abuses in livestock operations are still being pushed in other states — and the mechanism may be extended to stifle reporting on other environmental abuses.
Mid-Atlantic (DC DE MD PA VA WV)
"EWELL, Md. -- Superstorm Sandy barely laid a glove on Smith Island last fall, to hear residents tell it. Though storm-driven flooding damaged hundreds of homes in Crisfield and the rest of Somerset County, only a couple islanders got any water in their homes from the surging Chesapeake Bay."
The unanimous decision turned down a FOIA request by a California resident for records in Virginia. According to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, only a "handful" of states have similar residents-only restrictions to their FOI laws. But the doctrinal impact of the decision is likely to be large, since the court held, among other things, that the First Amendment conveys no right of access to government information.
"Behold the tiny oyster. No, not on the half-shell, with a squirt of lemon, but in its watery habitat, the Choptank River. Out there on a reef with many other oysters, the bivalve is awesome, a janitor that helps remove pollution with incredible efficiency."
"The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said on Tuesday it will increase oversight of Exelon Corp's 805-megawatt Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania, to ensure that safety equipment is protected from flooding."
"The Environmental Protection Agency is reporting promising but uneven results in its latest report on costly efforts to control toxic pollution creeping away from Delaware’s largest Superfund cleanup site."
"Smallmouth bass that draw hundreds of millions of dollars to the Chesapeake Bay region for sport fishing are sick, and many look too awful to ever mount as a trophy."
The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, saying that agencies had 20 days to respond to FOIA requests, stating "what documents would or wouldn’t be handed over and why," according to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.
"They’re back. Seventeen years after a major swarm of bug-eyed cicadas staged one of nature’s weirdest — and loudest — mating rituals, their offspring are preparing to rise in Washington’s suburbs and the Mid-Atlantic."