TipSheet

Farm Bill May Stir Up Local Hornets’ Nest on Pesticides

​Local pesticide bans that go beyond federal restrictions may be a growing trend, but it’s one that has brought on a backlash by GOP politicians and farmers. The conflict may soon be resolved — or not — by Congress, as it closes in on a new U.S. Farm Bill. Meanwhile, this week’s TipSheet helps explain the dispute and provides resources and signs to watch.

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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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With Wildfire, When Is Climate Change the Spark?

Massive wildfires have been a huge news story this summer. But caught up in the conflagration is a big question: To what extent can climate change be blamed? This week’s TipSheet looks at the controversy, and helps journalists work their way through the challenge without getting burned.

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Hurricane Reporting, By the Numbers

​Smart coverage of the ongoing hurricane season means reporting not just people stories, but numbers stories too. This week’s TipSheet explains and offers half a dozen metrics, including pressure, width, surge and rainfall, to better track these extreme storms. Plus, should there be a “Category 6?”

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​Taking Office as EPA Acting Administrator, Wheeler Gets Realer

​The presence of a new acting administrator at EPA in the wake of Scott Pruitt’s resignation may mean a change in tone and a renewed openness for journalists covering the agency. But it doesn’t appear to mean different policy approaches. This week’s TipSheet reports on the early days of former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler’s command, with a roundup of coverage and angles to watch.

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Will State, Local Pesticide Bans Make More News?

When EPA falls short on regulation of pesticides, might states step into the breach? That’s exactly what happened in June when Hawaii banned toxic organophosphate chlorpyrifos. To take a closer look, this week’s TipSheet reports on how federal regulation opens the door for state, or even local, preemption and offers angles and resources for environmental reporters.

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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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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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