September 19, 2012–The Congressional Research Service regularly produces objective and informative background material on matters of interest to environmental journalists. Because Congress refuses to release these reports to the public, the WatchDog links to leaked versions published by the Project on Government Secrecy of the Federation of American Scientists.
September 15, 2012–In this issue: How Carson's Silent Spring shapes modern environmentalism; Florida's lost wildlife highways; an interview with San Antonio Express-News enviro-adventure reporter Colin McDonald; bridging the journalism/science divide; SEJ Awards winners; EPA's ECHO database, your two-faced best friend; and more.
September 5, 2012–A retired University of Alaska professor, represented by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, went to court for the testing data on which Interior's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement approval was based, after the agency violated the FOIA by not responding within the required 20-day period.
August 8, 2012–A bid to drop the legal requirement that drinking water utilities mail annual "Consumer Confidence Reports" reports on any contaminants in water delivered to customers fell short in the Senate June 21, 2012. An amendment, by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), would have allowed utilities to deliver the CCRs to their customers online, rather than via US Postal Service.
August 8, 2012–Topics of the latest reports, published by the Federation of American Scientists, include Arctic changes, mountaintop mining controversies, pollution control law enforcement, climate change, midnight rulemaking, scientific papers/security risks, oil sands enviro issues, and fracking/drinking water.
July 11, 2012–If your local utility burns coal, there is likely an environmental story about coal ash to be reported near you. A FOIA request by the Environmental Integrity Project and Earthjustice has produced the identities of another 451 coal ash dumps (than previously listed by EPA), raising the total to at least 1161.
July 11, 2012–A new OMB Watch report calls full advance disclosure of fracking fluid ingredients "the necessary first step" to protecting people's drinking water and concluded "no state has yet established all of the elements of a chemical disclosure policy strong enough to ensure the quality of the water and the health of communities near gas wells."
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.
June 13, 2012–A new report from the IEA includes guidelines emphasizing transparency and the monitoring of environmental and social impacts. That includes full disclosure of fracking fluid ingredients and testing of baseline water and air conditions before drilling begins.
May 30, 2012–The federal Data.gov, while not perfect, has grown over three years especially strong in datasets from federal agencies that deal with the environment, energy, natural resources, health, and science. Many of them are downloadable, so that you can crunch them on your own computer. Several are map layers or geo-tagged in some way. See a few randomly chosen examples here.