New language added to the 2007/08 Farm Bill by conferees at the 11th hour could create a sweeping new secrecy mandate that would prohibit the Agriculture Department from disclosing almost any information about individual US farm operations.
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How health may be affected; accusation that Bush administration drastically altered CDC testimony to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Oct. 23, 2007.
Most news about ground-level ozone pollution focuses on its considerable impacts to human health. But there may be a far broader and potentially bigger story: Ground-level ozone pollution significantly impairs plants' ability to absorb CO2 - which in turn exacerbates climate change, reduces agricultural yields (think: food shortages), and damages ecosystems.Topics on the Beat:
Hot on the heels of the announcement of EPA's controversial revised ground-level ozone standard, the agency is required by court order to release its proposal for a revised airborne lead standard no later than May 1, 2008. A final rule is required by Sept. 1, 2008.Topics on the Beat:
A wet, snowy winter has set the table for spring flooding in much of the eastern US and a few western states. NOAA published a forecast on March 20, 2008, of the areas most likely to get swamped. Among the states at risk are "much of the Mississippi River basin, the Ohio River basin, the lower Missouri River basin, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, most of New York, all of New England, and portions of the West, including Colorado and Idaho."Topics on the Beat:
In the past few years, there have been several instances in which disturbance of sites containing naturally-occurring asbestos, via construction or other land use changes, has posed a potential health threat. As one tool for reducing such problems, on March 13, 2008, USGS released its fourth in a series of reports on US sites with naturally-occurring asbestos, covering 121 locations in AZ, NV, and UT.Topics on the Beat:
One of the best parts of the environment beat is getting out in the field. Now you can bring "the field" (whether it's your town or the whole world) to your audience through interactive maps. In many cases, you can create great interactive and even collaborative online maps with basic technical skills, using free or cheap tools.Topics on the Beat:
A new righ-resolution world map may add zing to land-use stories.Topics on the Beat:
Early news about a pending citizen science project has drawn such an overwhelming response that the project's leaders are now declining to talk about it further until its formal launch, potentially in July 2008. The public response suggests it'll be of great interest to some in your audience when it becomes official. Meanwhile, you can learn more online, and get on the notification list for the launch date.Topics on the Beat:
Earth Day may be a chance to get environmental stories on the front page.Topics on the Beat: