The SEJ WatchDog


The WatchDog TipSheet is a biweekly 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. To subscribe to the e-newsletter, email your name and preferred email address to

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

Latest WatchDog TipSheet Items

May 18, 2011

  • Reporting of potentially toxic chemicals in commerce under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)will not be required during the next reporting period, which runs from June through September.

  • ProPublica reporter Abrahm Lustgarten (left) revealed that some of the biggest fracking companies have been collecting extensive baseline data since 2008, keeping it concealed from public knowledge — including denying Duke University researchers the data when asked for it. The withheld data could either exonerate the companies or prove them responsible for pollution.

  • More access was urged for records on oil and gas leasing, government-issued permits and leases related to metal mining, grazing livestock on public lands, harvesting ocean fish, operating chemical plants, drilling for oil, logging, building roads or strip malls, coal mining, filling wetlands, and more.

  • By publishing the list promptly, NRC lived up to the "reading room" provisions of FOIA — which require agencies to actively publish information likely to be the subject of multiple FOIA requests. As a reporter, see what your competitors are doing. As a FOIA requester, you may learn a lot about how to write a FOIA letter that is realistic yet effective.

May 4, 2011