TipSheet

TipSheet is a weekly source for story ideas, background, interview leads and reporting tools for journalists who cover news of the environment.

Journalists can receive TipSheet free by subscribing to the SEJournal Online, the digital news magazine of the Society of Environmental Journalists. Subscribe to the e-newsletter here. TipSheet is also available through the searchable archive below and via RSS feed.

Also see searchable archives of SEJ's WatchDog TipSheet, featuring story ideas, articles, updates, events and other information with a focus on freedom-of-information issues of concern to environmental journalists in both the United States and Canada.


Latest TipSheet Items

December 7, 2011

  • The EPA says the proposed rule would prevent about 17,000 premature deaths each year and hundreds of thousands of illnesses, and avoid substantial environmental damage. The agency estimates that for every $1 spent preventing the targeted pollution there would be health benefits ranging from $5 to $13, and additional environmental benefits.

November 23, 2011

  • Designating lands as wilderness or some other highly protected status always is contentious, but the BLM has identified 24 areas in 9 western states the agency says have significant local support for this idea: CA (9 areas), CO (3), ID (1), MT (1), NM (2), NV (2), OR (2), UT (3), and WA (1).

  • On Nov. 9, 2011, EPA signed a consent decree that requires the agency to receive from and approve a State Implementation Plan for DC, VI, and 43 states that don't have a fully approved one. Each state can determine how it wants to reduce haze. In some cases, the plan will rely on actions already taken, such as reductions in emissions from power plants or vehicles.

  • 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.

  • The culprits often are one or more significant lead emitters such as smelters, iron or steel foundries, waste incinerators, utilities, or lead-acid battery manufacturers. Piston-engine planes using leaded aviation gasoline are another source.

November 9, 2011

  • The chosen include 24 improving recreational access to rivers and waterways; 23 to construct new trails or improve recreation sites; 20 to create and enhance urban parks; 13 to conserve significant landscapes; and 11 to establish new national wildlife refuges; national park units, etc.

  • Researchers at Southern Methodist University, funded by Google, have estimated relative geothermal potential in the US with a new map based in part on oil and gas drilling data. Google says the newer geothermal technologies that are being explored in the US and other countries suggest there may be decent geothermal prospects in all 50 states.

  • Overcome limited budgets for travel and visuals on ocean stories with Google Earth's new realm. Place your story in the context of many mapped layers of ocean features, as well as a realistic rendition of subsea and above-surface views, and add your own text, photos, images, video, narration, sound clips, and multimedia.

  • The agency says the remaining 17 sites covering ~285,000 acres in six states have the best solar gain and energy transmission traits, the fewest conflicts with environmental, cultural, and historic resources, and the best compatibility with each state's efforts. Public meetings commence Nov 30 and a 90-day public comment period ends Jan. 27, 2012. A variance process could be used to approve additional solar development elsewhere.

  • The agency would add slightly more acreage to the lists of sensitive land and water areas where fire retardant could be dropped only in cases where human life or public safety is threatened. There would be no significant changes in the formula of the retardant, or the general strategy used to determine when and where it's appropriate to drop retardant.

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