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.
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.
"The Standing Rock Tribe argues in a report that thousands of barrels of oil a day could leak into the Missouri River and not be detected by the company's equipment."
"Despite evidence that southeast Wisconsin is violating new and tougher emissions standards for smog, state officials are asking the Trump administration to set aside a recent federal finding and conclude the state is complying with the law."
"A federal court on Monday ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to implement protections against smog set in 2015, the latest defeat in court by the agency as it rolls back environmental regulations."
"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."
"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."
"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency called for stepped-up efforts Wednesday to reduce nutrient pollution that contributes to algae blooms in Lake Erie but recommended no new federal regulations to accomplish the task."
"The barn where David Hughes raises chicks on his Shenandoah Valley turkey farm smells mostly like the wood shavings he spreads across the floor for bedding. And that may be an important clue in a farm regulation battle that's about to come to a head 118 miles to the east in the nation's capital."
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.