Searching for Environment Themes at Sundance 2018

While environmental themes were less prominent at the Sundance Film Festival this year, our correspondent JoAnn Valenti unearthed ecological messages from documentaries that explore the emergence of climate change refugees in the face of sea level rise, the escape from modernity into wilderness and the confrontation of environmental threats by young innovators.

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As Threat of Coal-Ash Pollution Grows, Data May Diminish

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.

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Michigan: "DEQ Ignored Crucial Warning On Wolverine Dump Plume"

"BELMONT, MI -- Mark Worrall knew where to look. Worrall, a state geologist, told his superiors at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality in April 2017 that drinking water in homes southeast of Wolverine World Wide's now-infamous House Street sludge dump should be tested for toxic chemicals."

Source: Grand Rapids Press, 03/12/2018

"Straight Pipes Foul Kentucky’s Long Quest to Clean Its Soiled Waters"

"HARLAN COUNTY, KY — In the mountains of eastern Kentucky a creek is often steps away from the front porch or back door. Here in Loyall, several dozen homes rim a bend close to the Cumberland River. Amid the brambles on the bank at least one white PVC pipe, a couple inches in diameter, pokes out of the ground and points toward the water."

Source: Circle of Blue, 03/09/2018

Sun Doesn’t Shine at Trump Environmental Agencies

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.

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