In this issue: Covering the environment, health fallout of unexploded ordnance; special report on risk and resilience/lessons from Louisiana on the realities of coastal iving; freelancers and fellowships, a path for growth; utilizing the National Weather Service to track storm intensity; tapping the environmental journalism 'power grid'; book reviews; and classroom research on long-term relevance of front-page stories.
People & Population
"Survey of 300 US environmental groups show lower percentage of jobs held by ethnic minorities than in science and engineering"
Here are some recent explainers of interest to environmental journalists from the CRS, which Congress does not allow to be released to the taxpaying public who paid for them. The WatchDog thanks those who leaked them and the Federation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy for publishing them.
The federal government has not only done very little to protect the public from the mass-casualty threats chemical facilities present to neighboring communities, they've focused efforts on keeping the public from knowing about those threats or the government's own failures to keep them safe. Now the U.S. EPA has signaled that it is about to revise a key rule governing chemical facility safety and security.
"A northwestern Ontario First Nation has released a five-year-old report confirming the community suffers ongoing effects from mercury poisoning, but it says the government has never acted on the findings."
"Bob Perciasepe, deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will resign next month to lead an energy and climate advocacy group, the agency announced Thursday."
The National Bridge Inventory is a data tool that environmental and energy reporters can use to make their beat relevant to a wider audience. Compiled by the Federal Highway Administration, it can provide leads on stories like the use of federal highway funds, poor bridge maintenance, and even the pollution of water bodies with lead paint.
"It was a decision that had positive implications for the ability of Goldcorp Inc and other companies to continue to mine on land that natives had ceded to Canada under treaty. Goldcorp operates Canada's largest gold mine in the same region as the tract in the forestry dispute, and had intervened in the court case."
"New scientific research has found that wild-caught foods in northern Alberta have higher-than-normal levels of pollutants the study associates with oil sands production, but First Nations are already shifting away from their traditional diets out of fears over contamination."