The Great Lakes are not only the largest fresh water system in the world, supplying drinking water to tens of millions. They also face a range of environmental woes that make them ready fodder for reporters. This week’s TipSheet runs down some ongoing developments, plus key resources to cover them.
"Over the course of 14 months, 37 chemical releases were reported to the Coast Guard's National Response Center by facilities or individuals in St. James Parish [Louisiana], according to an analysis by environmental advocacy groups. The list of releases ranged from reports of chemical smells to a large quantity of a known carcinogen emitted from a plastics manufacturer."
"Firefighting foam with a chemical thought to cause cancer and other health problems will be banned in two years for local fire departments and districts in Washington."
Health risks from unsafe drinking water afflict many, not only around the world, but in the United States too, especially the poor, ethnic minorities and those in remote rural areas. The latest Issue Backgrounder looks at this undercovered environmental justice story, and offers ideas and resources for how reporters can cover it.
Lead is not just poisoning much of the U.S. drinking water supply. It’s also a threat to millions of the nation’s children, who continue to ingest lead paint chips from older housing stock decades after lead paint was banned. This week’s TipSheet explores this perennial problem and offers resources for local coverage.
"The EPA will have a hard time meeting a congressional mandate to boost oversight of toxic chemicals stored near water supplies, several people who work in water policy told Bloomberg Environment."
"U.S. EPA acted illegally when it delayed new regulations on the certification and training of pesticide applicators, a federal judge ruled yesterday."
"TRENTON, Mich. — State taxpayers will be on the hook for the clean up of old barrels holding toxic chemicals as well as contaminated soil discovered along the Detroit River at the site of the former Chrysler Corp. Trenton Chemical Plant, officials say."
"The dispersant chemicals used to clean up oil spills have the unintended effect of transforming crude oil into a toxic mist able to travel for miles and penetrate deep into human lungs, new research has found."
"A toxic onslaught from the nation's petrochemical hub was largely overshadowed by the record-shattering deluge of Hurricane Harvey as residents and first responders struggled to save lives and property."