With billions of infrastructure dollars now on the table to clean up orphan oil wells, states are already elbowing their way in for a taste. But as our new Backgrounder explains, the process to ensure they cannot pollute the environment or spew climate-change gasses is a complex one. And the sheer (and largely unknown) number of orphaned wells adds to the complications.
"Skiing is an endangered sport, caught between a warming planet and a global pandemic. But there’s a boom in one corner of the ski world that’s being driven, at least in part, by a combination of climate change and Covid."
A trove of confidential documents about a well-known groundwater pollution problem helped journalists Paul LaRocco and David M. Schwartz uncover how much had actually been hidden about the contamination’s severity and how it could have been kept from worsening. In the latest Inside Story Q&A, LaRocco and Schwartz share the story behind their award-winning investigation.
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.
"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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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."