Obama-era regulation of the toxic waste product coal ash, which was watered down in the face of resistance from coal and electric utilities and further weakened by the Trump administration, has meant many coal-fired power plants simply ignore disposal requirements. That’s per a new report that the latest TipSheet writes can offer journalists useful ways to report an overlooked environmental story in their area.
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(AL AR FL GA KY LA MS NC PR SC TN)
"Louisiana communities containing industrial plants and high percentages of Black residents experienced seven to 21 times more toxic air emissions than similar locations with higher percentages of White residents, according to a new study by researchers with the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic."
"EPA will not allow the shuttered St. Croix refinery to reopen until the owners obtain a new Clean Air Act permit accompanied by upgraded pollution controls."
"The Southern Environmental Law Center is suing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over its summer decision to remove Clean Water Act protections from almost 600 acres of wetlands next to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge."
When engineers reversed the Chicago River, they also upended a hydrologic system that years later required electrification to repel an invasive species threatening a major fishery. This is but one example from the latest book by New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert of the unintended consequences of human actions to dominate nature that may solve one problem only to create another. BookShelf contributor Gary Wilson has a review.
The increased frequency and intensity of extreme precipitation presents environmental reporters with challenging coverage of flooding, property damage, insurance shortfalls and risk to human life, as well as about the climate change driving the downpours. The latest TipSheet offers context, story ideas and resources to cover such big storms in your area.
"Nicole made landfall in Florida as a hurricane early Thursday and has now weakened to a tropical storm. Coastal flooding, strong winds, flooding rain and tornadoes are expected along the Southeast coast."
"Subtropical Storm Nicole has formed in the Atlantic and is forecast to push toward the Bahamas, Florida and the Southeast this week. Strong winds, high surf, rip currents, coastal flooding, beach erosion and heavy rain are expected along parts of the Eastern Seaboard."
"At the DeFelice Marine Center, researchers and staff are living, working, and adapting to climate change in real time."