As the Trump administration challenges wetlands preservation policy under the Clean Water Act, an important related practice has come into question. Mitigation banking — the creation or preservation of one wetland to offset the loss of another — has become a billion-dollar industry. But as this week’s TipSheet reports, the legal and regulatory tangle aside, wetlands permitting and mitigation continues, likely near you. Tracking the local story.
The vulnerability of critical U.S. infrastructure to cyberattacks has been a growing worry for years, as electric utilities, drinking water systems, chemical plants, nuclear plants, pipelines and more are the target of a burgeoning cadre of hackers. But for environmental and other journalists focused on the story, another problem has emerged: The secrecy that has long been part of the U.S. cybersecurity policy. In this comprehensive Backgrounder, SEJournal takes a look at the risk, the response and the resources to let reporters go deep on cyber warfare as an energy and environment story.
Climate, environment and energy issues figure prominently in the upcoming Nov. 6 elections, whether in individual races, ballot measures or significant power shifts. This week’s TipSheet provides starting points to track relevant races, and runs down 11 big environmental ballots, ranging from measures like a carbon tax in Washington state and drilling ban in Florida, to tight congressional races in California, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Carolina and Virginia.
When it comes to facing the risks of coming climate change, cities and states are leading the way for the United States. That means planning for future emissions reductions, as well as preparing for probable impacts. This week’s TipSheet has the story, with details on which local governments are acting and resources to find more, plus ten key questions to ask.
Local pesticide bans that go beyond federal restrictions may be a growing trend, but it’s one that has brought on a backlash by GOP politicians and farmers. The conflict may soon be resolved — or not — by Congress, as it closes in on a new U.S. Farm Bill. Meanwhile, this week’s TipSheet helps explain the dispute and provides resources and signs to watch.
The presence of a new acting administrator at EPA in the wake of Scott Pruitt’s resignation may mean a change in tone and a renewed openness for journalists covering the agency. But it doesn’t appear to mean different policy approaches. This week’s TipSheet reports on the early days of former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler’s command, with a roundup of coverage and angles to watch.
When EPA falls short on regulation of pesticides, might states step into the breach? That’s exactly what happened in June when Hawaii banned toxic organophosphate chlorpyrifos. To take a closer look, this week’s TipSheet reports on how federal regulation opens the door for state, or even local, preemption and offers angles and resources for environmental reporters.
The tale of the Flint, Michigan, drinking water crisis is told anew in a just-released book by a key protagonist in the tragedy. Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha’s “What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City” is written with a grace, clarity, honesty and passion that our BookShelf editor Tom Henry says brings a unique perspective to this important story of American environmental injustice.