March 25, 2009–Carrying out a January 21 order by President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder has reversed the so-called "Ashcroft Memo," which had encouraged agencies during the George Bush presidency to err on the side of secrecy.
March 25, 2009–EPA's public release of the latest Toxics Release Inventory data -- and rollback of Bush-era cutbacks on the amount of information chemical companies must report -- may have marked the beginning of a new era for the embattled program.
March 25, 2009–A public meeting regarding the U.S. Chemical Safety Board's investigation of the August 2008 explosion at Bayer CropScience which killed two workers, originally scheduled for March 19, was postponed to April 23, 2009.
March 25, 2009–A new Office of Inspector General report found many chemical facilities storing large amounts of dangerous chemicals had not filed their required RMPs -- and that EPA was not checking often for compliance.
March 11, 2009–A Bush-appointed holdover inspector general has teamed up with an ultraconservative Senator in a "plumber" operation aimed at punishing agency employees who revealed attempts to gut the Endangered Species Act via "midnight regulations."
March 11, 2009–Hundreds of civic groups and individuals called on EPA March 1, 2009, to restore the Toxics Release Inventory to its former usefulness for informing people of what toxic chemicals companies are releasing into their air, water, and land.
March 11, 2009–The Association of Health Care Journalists wrote the Obama administration asking it to end the practice of making reporters go through public affairs offices to arrange interviews with federal experts and, in some cases, having public affairs people monitor those interviews.
March 11, 2009–There is a lot of useful government information that is freely available to journalists and the public online. Here are some examples from EPA that can be the building blocks of great stories.