Health

Incinerators Offer Local Journalists Some Burning Issues

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.

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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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Florence Hints at More Flood-induced Animal Waste Spills Across U.S.

Hog waste washing into the environment in the wake of flooding is not just a worry in the Carolinas after Hurricane Florence. Potential pollution from animal feed operations is a widespread risk around the United States — and climate change-induced extreme weather means that risk is rising. The latest TipSheet has resources and ideas for covering the story in your area.

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Farm Bill May Stir Up Local Hornets’ Nest on Pesticides

​Local pesticide bans that go beyond federal restrictions may be a growing trend, but it’s one that has brought on a backlash by GOP politicians and farmers. The conflict may soon be resolved — or not — by Congress, as it closes in on a new U.S. Farm Bill. Meanwhile, this week’s TipSheet helps explain the dispute and provides resources and signs to watch.

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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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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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​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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“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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