The SEJ WatchDog


Searchable archives of the biweekly WatchDog TipSheet's story ideas, articles, updates, events and other information with a focus on freedom-of-information issues of concern to environmental journalists in both the U.S. and Canada are posted here on the day of publication. Journalists are eligible for a free email subscription; send name and full contact information to the SEJ office. WatchDog TipSheet is also available via RSS feed.

Latest WatchDog TipSheet Items

August 10, 2011

  • While EPA oversees the Safe Drinking Water Act programs, much of the daily responsibility is delegated to state agencies. The non-partisan Government Accountability Office says the states are under-reporting violations and contamination to EPA. Moreover, EPA has fallen behind in setting standards for known contaminants that may cause health problems.

  • Five years after writing about polar bears drowning, apparently from lack of sea ice, a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement was suspended without a reason. Later he was told it was due to charges of "scientific misconduct" from a party or parties not identified.

July 13, 2011

June 29, 2011

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had gone through an open rulemaking process on the "Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Articles Exemption Clarification Rule" but withdrew a final rule it had sent to President Obama's Office of Management and Budget for approval after OMB met privately with chemical, wood, and other industry lobbyists.

  • WONDER is a single portal for using a variety of databases related to public health that are maintained by CDC. Many are relevant to the environment beat, such as asthma and allergy prevalence, lung disease, cancer, agricultural safety, pesticides, occupational exposure, chemical hazards, waterborne disease, foodborne disease, and adverse vaccine events.

  • Congress still forbids the Congressional Research Service to release publicly reports that taxpayers have paid for. Thanks to groups like the Federation of American Scientists, however, taxpayers can read the reports online despite the charade.