In 2006, a local government council in Pennsylvania concerned about sewage sludge dumping enacted the Western legal system’s first formal “rights of nature” instrument. Today, numerous countries have laws recognizing specific rights or even legal personhood for nature. As legal expert Alice Bleby explains, this new perspective arises from a wide range of contexts and plays out in many different ways.
The Freedom of Information Act offers critical access to journalists — that is, when it’s working well. The latest WatchDog Opinion digs into the latest reports from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to see how well it lives up to its FOIA requirements and finds that despite progress, the agency continues to fall short on important measures. Plus, insight into how to work the system.
Oceans and climate change intersect with many other issues, a crossover likely to be emphasized in the upcoming United Nations Ocean Conference and in future ocean-based climate discussions. This list of resources reflects some of that intersection in order to help environmental journalists better cover the field of “blue climate” solutions.
As funding from the U.S. government’s massive infrastructure bill starts to get spent, big swaths of it on environmental-related concerns, Reporter’s Toolbox points to a problem for journalists covering it — there appears to be no single database to help track the money. But for intrepid reporters, various data sources are out there to help tell the story.
New rules on soot may soon be on the way and will likely stir up the long-standing controversy over air pollution from particulate matter. The latest TipSheet has the backstory on the pending regulations, reviews human health impacts and offers a range of story ideas and reporting resources for environmental journalists to tell the story on a local and regional basis.
As drought continues to afflict the southwestern United States, New Mexico PBS correspondent and producer Laura Paskus writes that environmental journalists must bring home its impact on local communities, while translating the science, making the connection with climate change and holding public officials accountable. Plus, reporting resources and a reminder that the story is too big for any one journalist.
A milestone legal challenge soon to be decided by the U.S. high court could severely limit how the U.S. government regulates the greenhouse gasses that cause climate change. The new Issue Backgrounder takes a look at West Virginia v. EPA, its legal implications, the politics behind it and what it would mean for efforts to curb future impacts of global warming.
There was a moment within living memory when Democrats and Republicans came together — in a time of extraordinary political turmoil — to pass landmark legislation to clean U.S. waters, limit toxic substances and pesticides, and empower the government to protect the environment. BookShelf’s Nano Riley reviews a new book that explores that time, and which speculates on why things have changed.
A new ban is to be imposed on the last kind of asbestos still imported into the United States for use in commerce. But as the Issue Backgrounder explains, the regulatory back-and-forth over the substance by recent administrations won’t alleviate the biggest U.S. problem, which is the long history of its use in a wide range of building materials and other uses raising ongoing occupational risks.
The Biden administration’s “whole-of-government” attack on climate change has increasingly focused on the financial arena, with the most recent move a vote by the Securities and Exchange Commission to draft rules requiring publicly traded corporations to disclose climate risks. Industry and GOP opponents are preparing for the fight over the complex regulations, and WatchDog Opinion argues environmental journalists have a big stake.