Consumer

Private Companies Pump Cash from Troubled Municipal Drinking Water Systems

Millions of Americans are served by private rather than public water systems. And while that may be helpful in the case of the tens of thousands of smaller systems that lack key resources, it also raises controversial questions about privatization, as well as about what’s best to insure drinking water safety in a post-Flint era. The latest Backgrounder explains this complex issue, considers the most critical issues and offers resources to report the story in your area.

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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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Journalism, Science Students Taught To Tune Their B.S. Detectors

​When it comes to nosing out the real “fake news,” reporters who cover environment, health and science have a long history of unmasking hype, misinformation and propaganda. The latest EJ Academy shares a new initiative to teach budding journalism and science students together, so they can be advocates for science and information literacy.

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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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“What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City”

​The tale of the Flint, Michigan, drinking water crisis is told anew in a just-released book by a key protagonist in the tragedy. Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha’s “What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City” is written with a grace, clarity, honesty and passion that our BookShelf editor Tom Henry says brings a unique perspective to this important story of American environmental injustice.

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Author Sees Flint at Intersection of Democracy, Environmental Injustice

A key figure in the Flint, Mich., drinking water crisis, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, talks with SEJournal’s Between the Lines about her new book on the tragedy, and how she hopes telling the tale of the intersection of environmental injustice, racism, poverty and democracy might provide inspiration for other communities.

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Farmers Markets Offer Baskets of Fresh Story Ideas

Nearby farmers market may offer reporters a bounty of environmental stories, with angles on organic foods, locavore movements and more. This week’s TipSheet outlines ideas, provides resources and encourages you to go pay a visit to speak with vendors and customers … and perhaps even taste some free wares.

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Media Object as EPA Bars Reporters from Drinking Water ‘Summit’

​Is EPA antipathy toward news media hiding inaction on a toxic drinking water contaminant? That’s the question asked by the latest WatchDog, which looks at a recent incident in which media access to a public meeting was limited, and then explores what may be behind it.

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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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