Pollution

Coal Ash Ruling Will Generate Piles of State-level News

Now that a top court has tossed out parts of coal ash disposal rules, also in question is a planned loosening under the Trump EPA. That means potential state-level stories on how this coal combustion byproduct may threaten environmental health and water supplies. This week’s TipSheet runs down the issue and suggests resources and questions to ask.

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Ditching Plastic Straws — A Strawman for the Real Problem of Marine Litter?

Plastic straws might have quickly become this summer’s bogeyman, with bans by Starbucks, hotel chains, resorts and some big cities. But as this week’s TipSheet points out, straws are only a part of the massive marine litter problem facing the world’s oceans. Here’s how to put recent straw bans into broader perspective.

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​Taking Office as EPA Acting Administrator, Wheeler Gets Realer

​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.

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Breaking the ‘Cycle’ on Chemical Safety Story

Chemical plant explosions make for fiery headlines, but then the reporting tends to flame out. The latest Backgrounder spells out why environmental journalists should stay vigilant on chemical safety coverage, with news hooks and ingredients for a potent mix of advance stories.

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EPA Inaction Leaves Smog an Endless Summer Story

It’s summer smog season, with all its unpleasant environmental and health impacts. But if you’re reporting on this perpetual problem, you may not be able to rely on the EPA to help you figure out where it is worst. This week’s TipSheet explains, then helps get you started on your own smog coverage.

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Veteran Photo Editor on Making Visual Storytelling a ‘Lead Actor’

​Visual storytelling can serve as a primary narrative tool, especially when it comes to human impacts on the environment. That’s the case made by acclaimed former National Geographic photo editor Dennis Dimick in this feature interview, that delves into his unexpected journalistic career.

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Media Object as EPA Bars Reporters from Drinking Water ‘Summit’

​Is EPA antipathy toward news media hiding inaction on a toxic drinking water contaminant? That’s the question asked by the latest WatchDog, which looks at a recent incident in which media access to a public meeting was limited, and then explores what may be behind it.

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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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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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