Disasters

Coast Guard Spill Database Rendered Almost Useless for Reporters

There used to be a searchable, online database of oil and chemical spill reports that reporters could turn to in an emergency to get insight into important breaking news. But ham-handed security efforts have sabotaged the public's right to know. Right now, emergency responders are working on a spill of a cancer-causing fuel additive known as MTBE. But news reporters probably couldn't get much if any helpful information from the database today (we checked).

Media Coalition Wins Overturn of Blankenship Gag Order on Appeal

After opposing gag and sealing orders in the trial of former Massey coal CEO Don Blankenship on charges of conspiracy to violate federal mine safety and health standards — and cover-up — a news media coalition led by Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press won access to the trial from a federal appeals court March 5, 2015.

LAFD Failed To Properly Inspect Hundreds of Hazardous Sites, State Says

"The Los Angeles Fire Department has failed to properly inspect hundreds of hazardous sites scattered across the city, exposing the public to increased risks from potential spills and mishandling of toxic substances, according to a state report released Friday."

Source: LA Times, 03/02/2015

Fishermen Blast Tepco Over Failure To Disclose Radioactive Water

"Fukushima fishermen appear to have finally run out of patience with Tokyo Electric Power Co. They lambasted TEPCO at a meeting on Feb. 25 over the utility’s failure for half a year to disclose the flow into the ocean of water contaminated with radioactive materials from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant."

Source: Asahi Shimbun, 02/26/2015

News Media Coalition Appeals Gag Orders in Blankenship Case

After a judge refused to reverse most of the secrecy ruling around the 2010 Upper Big Branch mine disaster caused by Massey Energy's safety violations, including indictment of the company's former CEO, media outlets appealed. Now a coalition of many more media groups, led by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, have filed a friend-of-the-court brief opposing the secrecy ruling as unconstitutional.

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