Missouri "allowed tourists at the Lake of the Ozarks to swim in waters that officials knew were infested with harmful E. coli bacteria for two weeks at the beginning of the summer tourist season, Gov. Jay Nixon said Wednesday."
"Three weeks ago, fish started dying in Dunkard Creek, a scenic stream that winds along the West Virginia-Pennsylvania border in Monongalia County."
"An oil field review starting with a state inspector questioning the size of spill containment facilities on Alaska's North Slope has resulted in a hefty civil payment for a subsidiary of BP PLC."
Use this roundup of sources to write a probing story about the ash, slag, and sludge from coal-burning electric utilities — which containins heavy metals that can pollute water, and even bury people's houses.
Journalists around the US who cover water quality, as well as those who cover coal mining and/or Appalachia, will benefit from an analytical NYT series and databases, combined with a Sept. 11 EPA announcement about extended NPDES permit reviews.
"For the first time in nearly 30 years, the Environmental Protection Agency plans to limit the quantity of toxic metals that coal-fired U.S. power plants release into waterways."
"In the last five years alone, chemical factories, manufacturing plants and other workplaces have violated water pollution laws more than half a million times. The violations range from failing to report emissions to dumping toxins at concentrations regulators say might contribute to cancer, birth defects and other illnesses. However, the vast majority of those polluters have escaped punishment."
"Dozens of coal-mining permits proposed across Appalachia need much more scrutiny because of concerns they will illegally damage water quality, the Obama administration said Friday."