June 27, 2012–About two dozen chemicals in the 8.3 million gallons of fluid used to fracture a gas-bearing Marcellus Shale formation near Canton, Ohio were disclosed on a public website — but the identities of another four chemical ingredients were withheld on the claim that they were trade secrets. EnergyWire's Peter Behr takes a look at the controversy.
June 27, 2012–One starting point to covering agriculture — and the health implications of land and water use — is to follow the money using Environmental Working Group's major database tool. Any reporter covering the ag-environment link should know about it.
May 30, 2012–The Ohio legislature cleared a fracking bill May 24, 2012 that increases inspections of wells and requires drillers to hold liability insurance. But Reuters reports: "Many Democrats said the bill paves the way for the industry to hide information about toxic chemicals that could contaminate groundwater."
May 16, 2012–After backroom lobbying by gas and oil industry groups, the Obama White House watered down the promised fracking-fluid disclosure requirement promised earlier this year — imposing it only after completion of the fracking operation, when the information may have little effect (such as public pressure on BLM to deny a drilling permit).
May 16, 2012–A Chicago Tribune investigative series on flame retardant chemicals helps illustrate how federal agency control of what scientists say to reporters can help the chemical and tobacco industries. By reporter Michael Hawthorne.
April 4, 2012–EPA's upcoming rulings on confidentiality for data going into the companies' GHG calculations will be important. Those determinations may impact whether companies' reporting is accurate — and whether they can ever be held accountable for their emissions.
February 29, 2012–Stormwater becomes a big media story during disasters such as floods and hurricane surges, and it's essential to cover the basics then. But there are dozens of related issues that can contribute to the disaster, and covering them in advance can help your audience understand ways of possibly preventing the peak crises.
February 15, 2012–The confidential National Air Quality Site Assessment Tool helps the livestock owner/operator figure out how changing on-site practices can reduce emissions of ammonia, methane, volatile organic compounds, hydrogen sulfide, fine particulates, and odors. This may be useful for journalists; whether an owner/operator will discuss the details of their operation or not, there's a story.
February 15, 2012–This user-friendly tool will help you understand and analyze discharges from point sources such as factories, sewage treatment plants, power plants, airports, and feedlots. EPA consolidated data from a number of inventories, making it easier to see who is dumping what, when, and where, and who is known to be in violation of their permit.