"As of Wednesday, half of Puerto Ricans had access to drinking water and 5 percent of the island had electricity, according to statistics published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency on its Web page documenting the federal response to Hurricane Maria. By Thursday morning, both of those key metrics were no longer on the Web page."
Journalism & Media
"States could soon respond quicker to chemical accidents armed with information EPA has. But first, they’ll have to prove they can protect chemical makers’ trade secrets."
"In the Trump administration's list of dos and don'ts, 'climate change' is out and 'resilience' is in. The word choices by administration officials -- and the extent to which they're going to avoid referencing global warming altogether -- are notable in the aftermath of recent severe hurricanes and in the face of questions about what could have caused them."
"Hurricane Harvey flooded more than a dozen Superfund toxic waste sites when it devastated the Texas coast in late August. An EPA report predicted the possibility of climate-related problems at toxic waste sites like those in Texas, but the page detailing the report on the agency's website was made inactive months before the storm."
Leaking is back. Today, all the best stories are based on leaks. Journalists are discovering that if the EPA press office puts out a story, it probably isn't news and may not even be true.
For some while it's been pretty clear that reporters have only slim chances of getting useful help from the US EPA press office — or the equivalent at many (not all) other agencies. If you expect nothing from the press office, you will rarely be disappointed.
This is a list of resources mentioned in the Oct. 6, 2017, concurrent session on "Working Around PIOs Who Don’t Live Up to Their Titles" at the SEJ Annual Conference in Pittsburgh.
"Top Tips for Getting Around the Press Office" from Joe Davis, Jamie Smith Hopkins, and other panelists.
EPA Leakers' Guide (four parts), by Joe Davis.
"When extraordinary hurricanes and floods battered parts of the United States and Caribbean this month, Paolo Bacigalupi’s readers started sending him news clips. In 'Ship Breaker,' which was nominated for a National Book Award in 2010, Mr. Bacigalupi, a science fiction writer, had invented a monster 'Category 6' hurricane."
"The Environmental Protection Agency says it has recovered 517 containers of 'unidentified, potentially hazardous material' from highly contaminated toxic waste sites in Texas that flooded last month during Hurricane Harvey. The agency has not provided details about which Superfund sites the material came from, why the contaminants at issue have not been identified and whether there’s a threat to human health."
"Members of President Trump's U.S. EPA transition team were frustrated in their requests for documents dealing with climate change and carbon regulations."