Government

Sec. Jewell in Burns: 'This Land Belongs To All Americans'

"BURNS, Ore. -- Harney County, infamous now for enduring a 41-day occupation at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, may find itself back in the spotlight soon and this time it will be the government's doing. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell concluded a day of tours and meetings in the Burns area Monday by declaring she intends to help trumpet a success that got overshadowed by acts of the armed protesters who took over the reserve Jan. 2."

Source: Portland Oregonian, 03/22/2016

"E.P.A. Faces Bigger Tasks, Smaller Budgets and Louder Critics"

"Under fierce attack from the political right, and with even some Democrats questioning its competence, the Environmental Protection Agency is facing a tumultuous election year — with rising regulatory responsibilities, falling budgets and its very existence at stake."

Source: NY Times, 03/21/2016

"Flint Water E-Mails Written To Stay Secret"

As the Flint water crisis was being discovered, Michigan environmental officials tried to manipulate exemptions in the state's freedom of information law to keep secret emails that should have been subject to disclosure.

Source: Detroit Free Press, 03/15/2016

"Legionnaires’ Outbreak in Flint Was Met With Silence"

Michigan officials still say they cannot conclusively link an outbreak of Legionnaire's disease to Flint’s contaminated water supply, partly because sputum cultures were not collected from patients. But the possibility of a link was raised in internal government emails as early as October 2014, and state officials did not inform the public of the outbreak until last month.

Source: NY Times, 02/23/2016

EPA Grants and Contracts Databases Offer Gumshoes Eye on Agency

Grants and contracts are a key way that the agency extends the reach of its work into the world beyond agency offices. They may include an engineering project to clean up a Superfund site, an environmental education and outreach program, snow-plowing agency parking lots, expert studies, and computer services.

Maine Law Hid Threats to Public from Oil Trains

Maine passed a law in 2015 that allowed railroads to keep oil-train routing information from the public — over the governor's veto. In the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting's Pine Tree Watchdog, Dave Sherwood reports how the provision was a bait-and-switch.

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