Coal ash can contaminate surface and ground water with toxic heavy metals. But as this week’s TipSheet reports, Trump deregulation aims to loosen EPA rules on its disposal. That may mean a big local pollution story. If journalists can find the data, that is. The latest on the new rules, plus resources for coverage.
Journalism & Media
"U.S. EPA hired Republican campaign consultants to help produce a report touting Administrator Scott Pruitt's accomplishments."
"John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, has killed an effort by the head of the Environmental Protection Agency to stage public debates challenging climate change science, according to three people familiar with the deliberations, thwarting a plan that had intrigued President Trump even as it set off alarm bells among his top advisers."
"A longtime federal employee who sees 'good news' in rising greenhouse gases was tasked early in the Trump administration with retooling the Interior Department's public positions on climate change, according to documents released under the Freedom of Information Act."
"A U.S. Geological Survey study documenting how climate change has “dramatically reduced” glaciers in Montana came under fire from high-level Interior Department government officials in May, according to a batch of newly released records under the Freedom of Information Act, as they questioned federal scientists’ description of the decline. "
There’s little cause to celebrate upcoming Sunshine Week for those who cover Trump administration environmental agencies. The latest WatchDog catalogues how the EPA has adopted a secretive approach and displays frequent hostility to the news media, including with a troubling series of attacks on individual journalists.
"Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine sued agricultural giant Monsanto on Monday, alleging the company concealed dangers posed by a toxic chemical compound it manufactured for nearly a half century."
"John Konkus, a top political aide to U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, received approval from ethics officials to work outside the agency as a media consultant."
As new research reminds us that pollution often disproportionately affects poor and minority communities in the United States, a long-standing mapping tool from the EPA can help reporters explore and discover those environmental justice stories nearest them. The latest TipSheet explains the problem, and walks you through the mapping app.
"The Environmental Protection Agency agreed Thursday to restore $325,000 in funding this year for the Bay Journal, a publication with a print circulation of 50,000 that has covered environmental issues involving the Chesapeake Bay for more than a quarter-century."