Last year, legislation to put new teeth in federal whistleblower protections failed when a single senator put a secret hold on it late in the session. The good news is Sen. Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI) has introduced the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2011 to restart the legislative effort.
- SEJ Publication Types:Visibility:
Last year's grant winners have efforts under way, so reporting can focus on progress that is being made, or not. Reporting on the new winners, announced in mid-April 2011, can inform the community about what is in the works, who is in charge, and what future benchmarks can be used to see if the money is being well spent.
The aging fleet of US nuclear power reactors have some technological similarities to the reactors failing in Japan. Could similar loss-of-cooling events happen at some US reactors — whether caused by earthquake, tsunami, terrorist attack, electrical outage, flooding, equipment failure, or some other problem?Region:
USDA's atlas provides data, at the county level, on scores of agricultural, demographic, and economic topics. Or on the national map, pick any given category and get an initial feel for national patterns, then click on individual counties for more detail. All data can be downloaded so you can work with it any way you want, and maps can be downloaded for your use.Topics on the Beat:
The federal government has released its draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for identifying and evaluating the best areas on public lands for building utility-scale solar plants. A 90-day public comment period ends March 17, 2011, preceded by 14 meetings in 6 Western states and Washington, D.C.Region:
Permittees and lessees of public lands are a key part of covering issues that involve grazing, hunting, public lands access, utility corridors, and related topics. The public comment period on BLM's proposal to identify these people closes Feb. 7, 2011.
In the case of Milner v. Navy, a Puget Sound resident and activist sought information that would identify the locations and potential blast ranges of explosive ordnance stored at Washington’s Naval Magazine Indian Island.SEJ Publication Types:
The Department of Transportation awarded $2.4 billion for 54 projects in 23 states. The winners were selected from 132 applicants in 32 states, who had asked for a total of $8.8 billion for planning, construction, equipment purchases, and other closely related efforts.
This guidance would provide insights and reduce threats when competing forces — such as land availability, cost, timing, vehicle and utility access, zoning, and developer cooperation — drive decision makers to build a school at a site that may pose a toxic threat to the children and staff.
Following a December 2008 USA Today report on outdoor air pollution at hundreds of schools, EPA began a monitoring process. Final reports for 21 (of the small number of schools selected) have now been released; the results are mixed.