January 2, 2013–If you want to know the latest on what chemicals might give your kids learning disabilities, asthma, and other health problems, the White House Office of Management and Budget intends to keep you in the dark. It has buried since March 2011 the 3rd edition of EPA's report "America's Children and the Environment."
January 2, 2013–Too often stories fail to disclose such industry ties, which might call into question the experts' objectivity. The Checks and Balances Project, an energy watchdog group, did an analysis of coverage in 60 publications over a five-year period with very interesting results.
January 2, 2013–EPA had on December 3, 2012, published a final rule requiring reporting of unpublished cadmium-related health and safety studies by manufacturers and importers. This rule prompted industry objections, resulting in EPA's withdrawal of the rule less than 2 weeks later.
January 2, 2013–Congress' motives for the nondisclosure bear scrutiny. Is it merely to sound smart or hog the glory of releasing them? A recent report by Manuel Quinones in E&E Daily suggests another motive: fiddling with inconvenient truths (or untruths).
December 12, 2012–A fatal November 30, 2012, collapse of part of a coal-slurry impoundment in West Virginia served as a reminder of safety issues that may not be adequately regulated in some states and localities. You can locate local coal-slurry impoundments and information on their status with an online public database.
December 12, 2012–Is the public entitled to see documents that may bear on the safety of a for-profit utility's plan to restart the flaw-stricken San Onofre nuclear plant in California? Maybe not. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board ruled the utility must turn the documents over to the board — but currently plans to keep them secret from the public.
December 12, 2012–The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was joined by the Washington (PA) Observer-Reporter in a suit to unseal records of the July 2011 settlement of a case in which a family had sued four natural gas companies over damages they claimed were caused by hydraulic fracturing. The appeals court said a lower court had erred in throwing out the newspapers' case.
December 12, 2012–The Society of Environmental Journalists wrote Interior Secretary Ken Salazar about the Election Day incident of attempted intimidation in Colorado, when the Secretary threatened to "punch out" SEJ member Dave Philipps, senior investigative reporter with the Colorado Springs Gazette.
November 28, 2012–A geeky nonprofit watchdog group has done what government and private industry have failed to do; the group, SkyTruth, has made data about the ingredients in fracking fluid easily accessible to the public.