Despite promises of transparency, the US Environmental Protection Agency has denied a Freedom-of-Information request by Charleston Gazette reporter Ken Ward Jr. for the contractor study, which apparently outlines less harmful options for this West Virginia mountaintop-removal project.
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The open-government agenda made only a little progress in the session of Congress now waddling to a lame-duck close. Hope still remains for a few measures that would increase public access to government information — but it dwindles with every day that passes.Topics on the Beat:
The Senate's Nov. 30 vote not to impose a moratorium on "earmarks" practically ensures that pork-barrel spending will live on as a subject for journalists — at least in fiscal 2011.
As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the federal government is shoveling more than $32 billion to the states to develop what it considers less-polluting energy and to train, certify, recruit, and retain workers.SEJ Publication Types:
TRI-CHIP assembles a great deal of toxicity and hazard information from many sources and makes it easy to search. TRI.NET allows you to construct complex queries into the Toxics Release Inventory database, and to map the results in ways that can be used for publishable graphics or layered on maps with other environmental and demographic information.
The order gives agencies 120 days to review their existing secrecy designations and to come up with standardized ones "in a timely manner." When there is doubt, Obama's order states, agencies are to err on the side of disclosure.
The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility is suing the administration under the Freedom of Information Act for documents that would explain the delay in issuing a long overdue, government-wide integrity policy.
The standards, now in a 60-day comment period, cover three types of heavy trucks but would not apply to vehicles built before the 2014 model year.SEJ Publication Types:
EPA in-house tool may be released to public within months. It will give reporters themselves the ability to estimate the cumulative impacts of pollution on water bodies.
myRTK lets you thumb in an address or ZIP code and get back a map or list of Toxics Release Inventory facilities on your feature phone or smart phone.