Energy & Fuel

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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Too Late To Wait for Covering Infrastructure Vulnerability, Resilience

Could U.S. infrastructure go from being a saver of lives to a bringer of disaster? Yes, warns our latest Issue Backgrounder, which looks at vulnerabilities for our drinking water supply, sewage systems, flood control, power grids, pipelines, refineries and even hospitals. Are environmental reporters paying enough attention? Here’s why they should, with suggestions on how to go about it.

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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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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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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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Is Your Community Stranded on an Urban Heat Island?

Urban heat is a serious environmental killer, with numerous culprits making it worse each year for many cities. But there are ways to lessen the impacts too, ranging from more trees to greener roofs. This week’s TipSheet has info on how to report on the problem of urban heat, as well as on its solutions.

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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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