The SEJ WatchDog

 

The WatchDog TipSheet is a monthly source of 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.

Journalists can receive WatchDog TipSheet free by subscribing to the SEJournal Online, the digital news magazine of the Society of Environmental Journalists. Subscribe to the e-newsletter here

WatchDog TipSheet is also available through the searchable archive below and via RSS feed.

Latest WatchDog TipSheet Items

August 10, 2011

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • The draft "Scientific Integrity Policy" marks the first time that the EPA's previously unwritten minders-and-permissions policy for press interviews has been reduced to a publicly disclosed written policy applying to the entire agency. The Society of Environmental Journalists has previously opposed these restrictions and is likely to submit formal comments on this draft policy as well.

July 13, 2011

June 29, 2011

  • 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.

  • 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.

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