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. But don't be afraid of them; that's what they want. Here are some pro tips to aid your reporting.
Journalism & Media
Here 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.
"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."
"The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has removed some climate change references from a website about a trucking industry efficiency program."
Flooding disasters can unleash some nasty substances into the environment, whether from Superfund sites, sewage plants or petrochemical and other industrial facilities handling toxic and hazardous materials.This week's TipSheet identifies some of the biggest risks, and offers starting points for your local reporting.
"Johnson & Johnson trained its employees to reassure anyone concerned about whether the company’s talcum powder contained asbestos that the cancer-causing substance 'has never been found and it never will' in its iconic baby powder, according to an undated memo unsealed in a lawsuit against the drugmaker."
"Employees at the Environmental Protection Agency are attending mandatory training sessions this week to reinforce their compliance with laws and rules against leaking classified or sensitive government information."
"Environmental groups say they will sue Duke Energy for not telling the public what would happen if any of its dozens of coal ash dams fail."