Health

Lead Pipes To Make News on the Environment Beat in 2022

A crisis of lead in drinking water affects thousands of U.S. communities, but 2022 will bring new focus to the problem as new Biden administration plans play out following passage of a $15 billion fund to replace lead service lines. TipSheet outlines the problem and the impact of a regulation carried over from the Trump era. Plus, seven reporting approaches to local and state-level stories.

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The World Is Dangerously Unprepared For The Next Pandemic: Report

"Nearly two years into a coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 5 million people, every country, including the United States, remains dangerously unprepared to respond to future epidemic and pandemic threats, according to a report released Wednesday assessing the efforts of 195 countries."

Source: Washington Post, 12/09/2021

When Reporting on Toxic Hotspots, Go Deeper With Cancer Registries

As awareness grows about how pollution can cause certain cancers, it’s smart to look beyond cancer risk and also explore available information about actual cancer cases. Reporter’s Toolbox explains how extensive data collected regularly in state-level cancer “registries” can take your coverage on the pollution-public health connection to another level. Plus, avoiding pitfalls in reporting possible clusters.

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Biden Administration To Struggle With Environmental Justice in 2022

The history of environmental racism is a long one in the United States, far longer than the efforts to address the problem. But reporting on environmental justice continues to tick upwards, and an analysis in the latest Backgrounder points to promising progress, explaining why for journalists the year ahead may yield important stories, whether about future footholds or new missteps.

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Rural Reporter Turns Routine Permit Into Award-Winning Investigation

It was a seemingly mundane legal notice about a surface water discharge permit. But when Wyoming journalist Angus Thuermer Jr. took a closer look, he discovered that it would mean massive discharges of pollutants into local waters. Inside Story explains how Thuermer revealed the truth about the plans, prompting local protests and, ultimately, a withdrawal of the permit.

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Mapping Toxic U.S. Hotspots Down to the Neighborhood Level

A new project on toxic risks has yielded a tool making it far easier to use data from the Toxics Release Inventory to report on hotspots. Reporter’s Toolbox offers a guide to ProPublica’s impressive “Sacrifice Zones” special report, which maps cancer-causing industrial air pollution. Plus, join an in-depth virtual tutorial on the ProPublica tool co-sponsored by the Society of Environmental Journalists.

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Messonnier, Birx Detail Political Interference In Coronavirus Response

"The Trump administration repeatedly interfered with efforts by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last year to issue warnings and guidance about the evolving coronavirus pandemic, six current and former health officials told congressional investigators in recent interviews."

Source: Washington Post, 11/15/2021

EPA’s PFAS Plan Likely To Generate News, If Not Fixes, in 2022

A government plan to address a class of so-called “forever chemicals,” widespread in the environment and implicated in human health effects, will pick up speed in 2022. But whether the effort will solve problems around PFAS remains to be seen. The latest TipSheet outlines the challenge, the EPA plan and smart ways to cover the story in your area.

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U.N. Summit Lays the Table for Environmental Reporting on Food Systems

After an 18-month buildup, a one-day U.N. Food Systems Summit earlier this fall generated hundreds of commitments to end global hunger and a dizzying array of alliances dedicated to the cause. Despite controversies surrounding the summit, this groundbreaking event highlighted opportunities for reporting on food and food systems. Award-winning agriculture journalist Chris Clayton shares his insights.

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Will Animal-To-Human Disease Transmission Bring the Next Big Pandemic?

The COVID-19 outbreak has left little unchanged — including how environment reporters do their jobs, given that many experts believe the disruption of the human-wild interface could be the source of the next deadly virus. The new Backgrounder makes the case in this analysis, looking at how societies — and journalists — handled this pandemic and must prepare for possible future outbreaks.

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