Deadly fires that swept Tennessee are harbingers of a new normal for these massive burns, driven by drought and climate factors to become a year-round, multi-region phenomenon. Our in-depth backgrounder offers dozens of resources, plus tips and ideas for improving your wildfire coverage.
- SEJ Publication Types:Region:Visibility:
The Obama administration has already used the century-old Antiquities Act to protect public lands more often than any president perhaps since FDR. Will the outgoing White House make additional controversial last-minute designations? Here are at least five possible locales to watch, in our newest TipSheet. Image: © Clipart.comSEJ Publication Types:Region:
A lawsuit over Wyoming's controversial "data trespass" law, which made it illegal to document pollution violations on "private open land", was settled in August without really resolving any of the important Constitutional issues behind it — and with both sides claiming victory.
In 2011, EPA produced — and subsequently buried — a draft report on fracking contamination at Pavillion, Wyoming. Now one of the authors of the original draft has co-published a review of the research in the independent journal Environmental Science & Technology. The new study, based on FOIA'd documents, links fracking and polluted wells.
Maine passed a law in 2015 that allowed railroads to keep oil-train routing information from the public — over the governor's veto. In the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting's Pine Tree Watchdog, Dave Sherwood reports how the provision was a bait-and-switch.Topics on the Beat:Region:
Water may be for fighting over, but water data is worth cheering about. A new Interior Department data portal may help journalists cover the ever-critical issue of water shortage and surplus in the Colorado River basin and nationwide.
Federal District Court Judge Scott Skavdahl on December 28, 2015, ruled that a lawsuit filed by journalism and environmental groups challenging the constitutionality of Wyoming's law could continue. The state had moved to dismiss the suit.Topics on the Beat:
- SEJ Publication Types:Topics on the Beat:
Wyoming's legislature calls it "data trespass." Really? The state in March 2015 made it illegal to collect and report information about stream pollution or other environmental harm — when it involves entering private land. One independent publication invited its readers to collect and post such potentially illegal photos.
Access to water quality data was an issue at one highly politicized House hearing on the August 5, 2015, toxic spill from a long-abandoned mine near Silverton, Colorado, where New Mexico Secretary of Environment Ryan Flynn accused EPA of refusing for weeks to share data on the quality of waters fouled by the spill.