Laws & Regulations

Environmental Protections in Play Amid Farm Bill Furor

Big environmental issues such as the use of pesticides, labelling of organic foods and the preservation of farmland and water are central to a huge farm bill lurching its way through the nation’s legislature, hamstrung by partisan politics. Our latest Backgrounder sets up the landscape for your coverage.

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Disappearing ‘Climate,’ EPA FOIA Surge, Pipeline Docs Ruling and More

A reporter reveals that the National Park Service is deleting references to climate change in an upcoming study of sea level rise, and FOIA requesters are behind a record surge in information lawsuits involving Pruitt EPA. That, plus Keystone XL Pipeline documents and more, in the latest WatchDog.

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Are Fluorinated Chemicals Contaminating Your Local Drinking Water?

A family of widely used fluorinated chemicals may be contaminating local drinking water supplies, causing uncertain health effects and with little clarity over federal regulations. But some states are starting to step in. This week’s TipSheet unwinds the confusion over PFAS, with some backstory and plenty of resources for your local coverage.

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Small Market Beat Reporter Delves Where ‘Few Have Looked’

A local beat reporter with an unusual background seeks hidden corners of local environmental policy and is rewarded with top honors for her work. An interview with Texas Observer reporter Naveena Sadasivam about her learning curve, her award-winning reporting and what she thinks the profession must do to build its future. The latest “Inside Story.”

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Often Misunderstood Estuaries Underpin Environment’s Health

The estuaries that proliferate across the United States can be hard to define — and protect. But their role in a healthy environment makes them a crucial focus of good reporting. The latest Issue Backgrounder explores their importance, the many challenges they face, and how to track the agencies and programs meant to protect them.

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Tracking Troubled Waters with ‘Endangered Rivers’ List

A running list of endangered rivers becomes an annual starting point for strong local coverage of critical water issues. This week’s TipSheet spotlights the latest additions to an inventory of trouble spots around the United States, plus key angles and issues for coverage, and a selection of top resources.

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Great Lakes Offer Great Stories to Reporters in the Know

The Great Lakes are not only the largest fresh water system in the world, supplying drinking water to tens of millions. They also face a range of environmental woes that make them ready fodder for reporters. This week’s TipSheet runs down some ongoing developments, plus key resources to cover them.

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Selective Media Tour on EPA Scandal, ‘Weaponizing’ Transparency and More

The EPA turns to friendly media to share its news, while limiting access to mainstream reporters. And the agency moves to “weaponize” transparency. Those stories, plus, a new way to map political influence on environmental policy, and key reports made public, in the latest WatchDog TipSheet.

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When Disaster Strikes, Building Codes May Make Things Worse

They may not be the sexiest topics on the environmental agenda. But building codes and zoning can become a matter of life and death when natural disasters strike. This week’s TipSheet runs down the reporting challenge when floods, earthquakes and wildfires threaten your coverage area.

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