Millions of Americans are served by private rather than public water systems. And while that may be helpful in the case of the tens of thousands of smaller systems that lack key resources, it also raises controversial questions about privatization, as well as about what’s best to insure drinking water safety in a post-Flint era. The latest Backgrounder explains this complex issue, considers the most critical issues and offers resources to report the story in your area.
Great Plains (IA KS ND NE MO SD)
Hog waste washing into the environment in the wake of flooding is not just a worry in the Carolinas after Hurricane Florence. Potential pollution from animal feed operations is a widespread risk around the United States — and climate change-induced extreme weather means that risk is rising. The latest TipSheet has resources and ideas for covering the story in your area.
A reporter reveals that the National Park Service is deleting references to climate change in an upcoming study of sea level rise, and FOIA requesters are behind a record surge in information lawsuits involving Pruitt EPA. That, plus Keystone XL Pipeline documents and more, in the latest WatchDog.
A running list of endangered rivers becomes an annual starting point for strong local coverage of critical water issues. This week’s TipSheet spotlights the latest additions to an inventory of trouble spots around the United States, plus key angles and issues for coverage, and a selection of top resources.
"The Standing Rock Tribe argues in a report that thousands of barrels of oil a day could leak into the Missouri River and not be detected by the company's equipment."
"A lack of federal funding could force the state of South Dakota to stop monitoring water for lead and copper, cease regulating wastewater and otherwise pare back pollution control programs."
The battle over environment and energy issues may ultimately come down to U.S. courts, where, unlike Congress and White House, the GOP doesn't hold sway ... yet. This week's TipSheet looks at a dozen major legal issues making news in 2018, like wetlands protection, and offers story ideas and resources to cover them.
"Missouri has issued its first fines over the misuse of a farm chemical in 2016 that went on to be linked in different formulations to widespread U.S. crop damage this year, the state said on Thursday."
"North Dakota's agriculture commissioner says he's scrapping a new requirement that people inform the state before applying the weed killer dicamba, but he's keeping a new restriction on when the herbicide can be sprayed."