TipSheet

Environmental (In)Justice Coverage Grows, As More Media Take Note

Environmental justice-related stories are expected to get more attention in the news media in 2019. But that’s not because the challenge of protecting marginalized communities from lopsided environmental impacts is being met. This week’s TipSheet explains, in a look-ahead to environmental justice stories making the news, the many forms the problem takes, the many communities affected and the emerging notion of “climate justice.”

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In 2019, PFAS Chemicals Will Show Up in Drinking Water … and Headlines

The vast and widely used PFAS family of chemicals is causing serious worries across the country, as it turns up in more and more drinking water systems. Pressure to regulate it is also growing, but with mixed results. This week’s TipSheet offers a detailed look-ahead on this big, developing story, with a walk-through of the context, what the EPA is (and isn’t) doing, and why states are stepping up.

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Flood Insurance Reform Remains Key Congressional Task

With flooding from hurricanes and other climate disasters becoming the new normal, badly needed flood insurance reform continues to founder in the halls of Congress. The National Flood Insurance Program is billions of dollars in debt, and aid packages are doing little to get people out of flood-prone areas. Congress watchers will keep an eye on new House leadership for insurance solutions, although politically unpalatable rate hikes swamped the big reform. This week’s TipSheet has more on the story, with leads on what to watch in 2019.

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Bear Stories Should Go Beyond Bare Facts

Bears, particularly the plentiful black bears that are the source of much human-bear conflict, can serve as a opening to larger environmental stories, such as habitat destruction and the challenges of the “wildland-urban interface.” This week’s TipSheet has some of the good news/bad news on bears, with story ideas and resources for your reporting.

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Incoming House Democrat Committee Chairs Promise News

​What will a divided Congress mean for environment and energy issues? This week’s TipSheet explores the question by looking at the Democrats who will now lead key House committees once the new Congress is seated next year. Take a lightning tour of a half-dozen top panels, their anticipated leadership and the issues they tackle, including drinking water safety, environmental justice and climate change, infrastructure, science policy, natural resources and more.

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Wetlands Mitigation — Why Draining the Swamp Is a Local Story

As the Trump administration challenges wetlands preservation policy under the Clean Water Act, an important related practice has come into question. Mitigation banking — the creation or preservation of one wetland to offset the loss of another — has become a billion-dollar industry. But as this week’s TipSheet reports, the legal and regulatory tangle aside, wetlands permitting and mitigation continues, likely near you. Tracking the local story.

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Hunting for Wildlife Stories? Go to a Wildlife Refuge

Long-standing tensions between hunting and conservation mean stories for environmental reporters, especially as hunting season gets underway. But as this week’s TipSheet points out, much hunting also takes place in one of the nation’s most protected habitats — its national wildlife refuges. A look at why, and where, plus a scan of the landscape of sources and resources to tell the story more richly.

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Environment Issues Figure in Many 2018 Mid-Term Races, Ballots

Climate, environment and energy issues figure prominently in the upcoming Nov. 6 elections, whether in individual races, ballot measures or significant power shifts. This week’s TipSheet provides starting points to track relevant races, and runs down 11 big environmental ballots, ranging from measures like a carbon tax in Washington state and drilling ban in Florida, to tight congressional races in California, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Carolina and Virginia.

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As Climate Struggle Gets Real, Cities Stand on Front Line

When it comes to facing the risks of coming climate change, cities and states are leading the way for the United States. That means planning for future emissions reductions, as well as preparing for probable impacts. This week’s TipSheet has the story, with details on which local governments are acting and resources to find more, plus ten key questions to ask.

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