Incinerators — there may be fewer of them these days, but it’s likely there’s still one near you and it’s probably polluting the air. How a cheap method to make garbage go away now has become a problem of its own, one that often sparks debates over environmental justice. This week’s Tipsheet has a quick rundown on incinerator regulation, outlines key problem areas and offers resources for reporting your own local incinerator story.
Energy & Fuel
Local dams are threatened with floods brought by Hurricane Florence. But already, many of these dams were being removed after decades of building them up, as part of a growing effort to limit harm to the environment and hazards to local communities. This week’s TipSheet explains the trend, highlights some examples and points the way to databases and other resources to find and report on dams in your area.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.