With ice and snow ahead, it's time to start thinking about road salt — its use may make driving safer, but can also cause real harm to the environment. This week's TipSheet clears the road for your reporting on this potential hazard, detailing its risks, outlining its alternatives and offering story ideas.
Mountain West (CO ID MT NV UT WY)
"An overflow crowd showed up Monday to plead with — and in some cases berate — state regulators over several oil and gas drilling operations slated for neighborhoods along the Front Range."
Hurricane Irma left millions of Floridians in the dark, while Maria stripped Puerto Ricans of power, potentially for months. Can the electric grid be made less vulnerable? Our Backgrounder has a dozen-plus angles to jump-start your power reporting, from stronger poles to microgrids. Plus, hurricane coverage resources.
"The cleanup of a northwest Montana community where health professionals say hundreds of people have been killed by asbestos exposure entered a new phase Thursday as officials turn their focus to keeping residents safe over the long term. The five-member Libby Asbestos Superfund Advisory Team met for the first time after being established by the Montana Legislature earlier this year."
"Once staring into the oblivion that is extinction, bison have rebounded in number and prestige to be called the United States’ national mammal. Yet those in Yellowstone National Park don’t fully carry the prestige that distinction bestows."
"Environmentalists have sued a U.S. agency to try to stop it from allowing oil and gas drilling on a vast stretch of federal land in Nevada, where the government is reversing protections put in place nine months ago under the Obama administration."
"An appeals court granted a request Monday from President Donald Trump's administration to halt a plan for new pollution controls at Utah's oldest coal-fired power plants aimed at reducing haze near national parks."
"Fire officials said on Monday they had effectively stopped the uncontrolled spread of the largest wildfire in Los Angeles history, with a little help from cooler weather, but were still working to contain it."
It's a deadly threat only fitfully reported by news media. But coverage of insect-borne diseases could be improved by environmental journalists who understand the intersection of bugs, humans and climate. A two-part Issue Backgrounder with basics, key resources and a rundown on significant illnesses brought by mosquitoes, and by ticks and other insects.
"Solar advocates win a surprising victory in Nevada."