Whistleblowers can be a reporter's best friend — although friends that must often be handled with care. If you know a federal agency employee who tells you "Call me on January 21" — be sure to do it.
Scorecard reports environmental records of US Representatives and Senators
EPA is scheduled to announce by March 12, 2008, its final rule for a new ground-level ozone standard, last updated more than a decade ago.
The strategy of changing chemical processes at industrial facilities so they use less hazardous materials, and pose less of a threat from terrorism and accidents, gained little traction in the Bush administration after 9/11. But a number of organizations continue to push the idea.
As the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan drag on, new light has been shed on the environmental health impacts of the 1991 Gulf War. On Nov. 17, 2008, the Congressionally-mandated Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses released a major report which concluded that from 175,000 to 210,000 of the nearly 700,000 U.S. veterans of the first Gulf War suffer from Gulf War illness.
In a bold move to crack the reality show and celebrity-oriented entertainment worlds, the National Academy of Sciences is offering inside information to writers, producers, and entertainment industry moguls about its own views of reality.
The last vestiges of the dam-building era continue. But the era of the dam removers is well under way, as communities try to improve river habitat, restore fish migrations, or remove hazardous dams that are crumbling or no longer serve a useful purpose (though dam removal can also have potentially adverse consequences, such as the release of toxic sediments, or reductions in species that had adapted to the dam environment).
In 2008, about 60 dams were removed, according to the advocacy group American Rivers. That adds substantially to the more than 300 dams that have been removed since 1999, and about 790 dams removed in the last 100 years, according to the group's tally.
As it leaves office, the Bush administration is rushing to complete regulations that will bind the Obama administration.
New language added to the 2007/08 Farm Bill by conferees at the 11th hour could create a sweeping new secrecy mandate that would prohibit the Agriculture Department from disclosing almost any information about individual US farm operations.
Most news about ground-level ozone pollution focuses on its considerable impacts to human health. But there may be a far broader and potentially bigger story: Ground-level ozone pollution significantly impairs plants' ability to absorb CO2 - which in turn exacerbates climate change, reduces agricultural yields (think: food shortages), and damages ecosystems.