November 23, 2011–Offshore oil and gas drilling from 2012-2017 would be focused in the western and central Gulf of Mexico and off the shores of northern and southern Alaska, if the Dept. of Interior's proposed plan and draft programmatic environmental impact statement, released Nov. 8, 2011, are accepted as is. A 60-day public comment period ends Jan. 9, 2012.
September 28, 2011–Sites in CA, GA, IL, IN, MS, NC, NJ, NM, NY, OR, SC, TN, and TX received a final designation of Superfund status, meaning they are among the most toxic in the country, due to contamination from industrial operations, mining, military activities, landfills, and other sources.
September 21, 2011–Judge Gregory Presnell ruled that the federal Freedom of Information Act did not allow an injunction before the agency itself had made its decision on whether to release the records.
September 21, 2011–Dam inspections began before the Dec. 2008 spill incident of 5.4 million cubic yards of coal-ash slurry in Tennessee. Afterward, the initial draft engineer's report of the pre-spill inspection noted several eroded areas needed to be fixed "immediately;" the word was subsequently struck from the report.
August 3, 2011–Hunting, under certain conditions, is already allowed at more than 300 of the 553 sites in the National Wildlife Refuge System. Contact local environmental, animal rights, and hunting groups for opinions for or against these proposals that would allow additional species to be killed at 10 refuges in 8 states.
July 6, 2011–The US Dept. of Agriculture is providing financial support for farmers to grow the grass in four project areas in four states. The goal is to substantially increase production of the crop, and USDA estimates about 4,000 jobs will be created.
June 22, 2011–Are you looking for a story of interest to consumers, retailers, manufacturers, lawyers, politicians, health officials, and editors of the business, politics, health, energy, science, and environment beats? Here are some starting points for coverage of plastics issues. Once you delve into this topic, other angles and sources will emerge.