Southwest (AZ NM OK TX)

Coal Ash Ruling Will Generate Piles of State-level News

Now that a top court has tossed out parts of coal ash disposal rules, also in question is a planned loosening under the Trump EPA. That means potential state-level stories on how this coal combustion byproduct may threaten environmental health and water supplies. This week’s TipSheet runs down the issue and suggests resources and questions to ask.

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Ditching Plastic Straws — A Strawman for the Real Problem of Marine Litter?

Plastic straws might have quickly become this summer’s bogeyman, with bans by Starbucks, hotel chains, resorts and some big cities. But as this week’s TipSheet points out, straws are only a part of the massive marine litter problem facing the world’s oceans. Here’s how to put recent straw bans into broader perspective.

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Coming to a Coastal Area Near You — Drowning Real Estate

​It’s a blockbuster — literally. Homes by the tens of thousands are at risk of being lost to coastal flooding in coming years, communities broken up thanks to climate change. This week’s TipSheet tells you how to find the data to tell the story and provides examples of model reporting.

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“Pandora's Garden: Kudzu, Cockroaches, and Other Misfits of Ecology”

​Weird and unwanted critters are the subject of a new collection of literary essays that mine the author’s experience to help tell a well-researched, entertaining story of invasive species and the pitfalls of ecological tampering. Read our BookShelf review of “Pandora's Garden: Kudzu, Cockroaches, and Other Misfits of Ecology.”

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Breaking the ‘Cycle’ on Chemical Safety Story

Chemical plant explosions make for fiery headlines, but then the reporting tends to flame out. The latest Backgrounder spells out why environmental journalists should stay vigilant on chemical safety coverage, with news hooks and ingredients for a potent mix of advance stories.

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EPA Inaction Leaves Smog an Endless Summer Story

It’s summer smog season, with all its unpleasant environmental and health impacts. But if you’re reporting on this perpetual problem, you may not be able to rely on the EPA to help you figure out where it is worst. This week’s TipSheet explains, then helps get you started on your own smog coverage.

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Veteran Photo Editor on Making Visual Storytelling a ‘Lead Actor’

​Visual storytelling can serve as a primary narrative tool, especially when it comes to human impacts on the environment. That’s the case made by acclaimed former National Geographic photo editor Dennis Dimick in this feature interview, that delves into his unexpected journalistic career.

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Will Climate Change Sink Your Favorite Park?

The Trump administration unsuccessfully tried to hold back a flood of information on how sea level rise may inundate the nation’s park system. But now a new report yields wave after wave of stories, depending on your coverage area. TipSheet explains how to make smart use of the just-released document.

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Disappearing ‘Climate,’ EPA FOIA Surge, Pipeline Docs Ruling and More

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.

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Small Market Beat Reporter Delves Where ‘Few Have Looked’

A local beat reporter with an unusual background seeks hidden corners of local environmental policy and is rewarded with top honors for her work. An interview with Texas Observer reporter Naveena Sadasivam about her learning curve, her award-winning reporting and what she thinks the profession must do to build its future. The latest “Inside Story.”

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