Health

Amid Heat Waves, Data on Heat Deaths Deadly Serious

Heat waves, heat domes … heat deaths. The reality of climate change means a grim uptick in fatalities, more so from excess heat than any other kind of extreme weather event. Reporter’s Toolbox points to useful data sources for covering the crisis, with insights on how to go behind the numbers to find the stories of those most vulnerable to heat’s effects.

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"U.S. To Expand Monkeypox Testing At Commercial Labs As Outbreak Grows"

"The Biden administration announced Wednesday it is authorizing commercial laboratories to conduct monkeypox tests in an attempt to dramatically expand testing as the United States confronts a record outbreak that experts fear is far larger than the official count of 156 cases."

Source: Washington Post, 06/23/2022

EPA Leak on Problem Coal Ash Sites Could Yield Local Drinking Water Stories

Closure plans for more than 160 coal ash facilities crisscrossing the United States are under renewed scrutiny by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to a newly leaked list. The latest TipSheet credits that leak with offering local environmental reporters story leads on potential drinking water pollution in their communities. Get the details, plus story ideas and reporting resources.

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Fine Particle Pollution Will Soon Spawn a Stormcloud of News

New rules on soot may soon be on the way and will likely stir up the long-standing controversy over air pollution from particulate matter. The latest TipSheet has the backstory on the pending regulations, reviews human health impacts and offers a range of story ideas and reporting resources for environmental journalists to tell the story on a local and regional basis.

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Massive Drilling Database Helps Track Threats From Local Oil, Gas Wells

A new data tool that captures information on 1.5 million-plus active U.S. oil and gas production facilities can be a powerful tool for journalists looking to report on potential pollutants, especially when overlaid with local census data, school locations and the like. Reporter’s Toolbox takes a closer look at the new Oil & Gas Threat Map, shares caveats and offers story ideas.

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Septic Systems Often Hide Neglected Local Stories

Millions of Americans rely on their own onsite wastewater treatment, commonly known as septic systems. And many of those systems are connected to private wells. But unless they are properly sited, designed, built and maintained, they can contaminate drinking water, bringing dangerous waterborne illnesses. The latest TipSheet explains how to turn this often ignored issue into a local story.

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Investigation Into Dry Oil Wells Reveals High Risks, Costs to Nearby Neighborhoods

A casual query from an editor prompted an investigative reporter to pair up with a data journalism reporter at a partner news organization to dig into the risks that thousands of dry oil wells across California posed to surrounding communities, including many low-income Latino neighborhoods. How the resulting award-winning series came together, in an Inside Story Q&A with reporter Mark Olalde.

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Should EPA Chemical Risk Info Remain a ‘Trade Secret’?

The public’s right to know about toxic and hazardous chemicals is currently limited by trade secret rules that no longer serve any true purpose, argues the new WatchDog Opinion column. And a pending federal rulemaking is an opportunity for journalists to make the case to draw back the curtain, for the sake of their reporting and so that they can better cover their communities’ risks.

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As Summer Worsens Air Pollution, Data Sources Help Coverage

As the weather grows warmer, air pollution from smog typically worsens, as does smoke from spreading wildfires. The latest Reporter’s Toolbox spotlights the data that can help improve your coverage, whether via an easy-to-use report on the state of the air from a prominent nonprofit, or straight from various quality EPA data resources. Find help getting started on your air pollution coverage projects now.

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