Planning & Growth

"Builders Said Their Homes Were Out of a Flood Zone. Then Harvey Came."

"Leslie Martinez heard the floodwaters before she saw them. ...  After all, Ms. Martinez recalled, the home builder had assured her that 'flooding was not even a possibility' when she and her husband purchased the house in this suburban enclave north of Houston in 2011. They would never have bought here otherwise. Flood insurance, of course, was neither required nor needed."

Source: NY Times, 12/05/2017

FOIA Suit, Silence on Hog Farms & Sea-Level Rise, Plus Shield Laws

A push for disclosure on hazardous air emissions from industrial hog farms, and reporting on how the coastal real estate industry works to block bad news about sea-level rise. That, plus the Bay Journal FOIAs the EPA over grant defunding, and a move in Congress towards a federal shield law, all in the latest WatchDog.

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Wildland-Urban Interface — How Disastrous Wildfires Get into Your Neighborhood

As this month's fatal California fires demonstrated, the risk of wildfire at the wildland-urban interface rises as development moves into fire-prone zones. The latest TipSheet explains this complex phenomenon, and provides story ideas and a wide range of resources to help you get ahead of the problem.

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As Power Goes Out, Time To Design a More Resilient Grid?

Hurricane Irma left millions of Floridians in the dark, while Maria stripped Puerto Ricans of power, potentially for months. Can the electric grid be made less vulnerable? Our Backgrounder has a dozen-plus angles to jump-start your power reporting, from stronger poles to microgrids. Plus, hurricane coverage resources.

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On ‘Writing the Book You Can’t Not Write’

The latest 'Between the Lines' features an interview with environment reporter Meera Subramanian about her debut book, “A River Runs Again: India’s Natural World in Crisis.” Her approach to a challenging topic, her faith in the power of stories, her search for a new model of development and her advice for other writers.

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As Hurricanes Strike, Surge Coverage Can Save Lives

A hurricane's storm surge is an unpredictable and fast-moving killer, a phenomenon reporters must prepare to cover before it hits. This week's TipSheet explains how, with background on the complex factors that lead to storm surge, and resources to help you report on this very real risk in real time.

 
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"Fierce Storms Haven't Slowed Growth Along US Coastlines"

"Rising sea levels and fierce storms have failed to stop relentless population growth along U.S. coasts in recent years, a new Associated Press analysis shows. The latest punishing hurricanes scored bull's-eyes on two of the country's fastest growing regions: coastal Texas around Houston and resort areas of southwest Florida."

Source: AP, 09/18/2017

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