TipSheet

TipSheet is a weekly source for story ideas, background, interview leads and reporting tools for journalists who cover news of the environment.For questions and comments, or to suggest future TipSheets, email the SEJournal TipSheet editor Joseph A. Davis at jdavis@sej.org.

Journalists can receive TipSheet free by subscribing to the SEJournal Online, the digital news magazine of the Society of Environmental Journalists. Subscribe to the e-newsletter here. TipSheet is also available through the searchable archive below and via RSS feed.

Also see searchable archives of SEJ's WatchDog TipSheet, featuring story ideas, articles, updates, events and other information with a focus on freedom-of-information issues of concern to environmental journalists in both the United States and Canada.


Latest TipSheet Items

December 5, 2018

  • The vast and widely used PFAS family of chemicals is causing serious worries across the country, as it turns up in more and more drinking water systems. Pressure to regulate it is also growing, but with mixed results. This week’s TipSheet offers a detailed look-ahead on this big, developing story, with a walk-through of the context, what the EPA is (and isn’t) doing, and why states are stepping up.

November 28, 2018

  • With flooding from hurricanes and other climate disasters becoming the new normal, badly needed flood insurance reform continues to founder in the halls of Congress. The National Flood Insurance Program is billions of dollars in debt, and aid packages are doing little to get people out of flood-prone areas. Congress watchers will keep an eye on new House leadership for insurance solutions, although politically unpalatable rate hikes swamped the big reform. This week’s TipSheet has more on the story, with leads on what to watch in 2019.

November 21, 2018

  • Bears, particularly the plentiful black bears that are the source of much human-bear conflict, can serve as a opening to larger environmental stories, such as habitat destruction and the challenges of the “wildland-urban interface.” This week’s TipSheet has some of the good news/bad news on bears, with story ideas and resources for your reporting.

November 14, 2018

  • ​What will a divided Congress mean for environment and energy issues? This week’s TipSheet explores the question by looking at the Democrats who will now lead key House committees once the new Congress is seated next year. Take a lightning tour of a half-dozen top panels, their anticipated leadership and the issues they tackle, including drinking water safety, environmental justice and climate change, infrastructure, science policy, natural resources and more.

November 7, 2018

  • As the Trump administration challenges wetlands preservation policy under the Clean Water Act, an important related practice has come into question. Mitigation banking — the creation or preservation of one wetland to offset the loss of another — has become a billion-dollar industry. But as this week’s TipSheet reports, the legal and regulatory tangle aside, wetlands permitting and mitigation continues, likely near you. Tracking the local story.

October 31, 2018

  • Long-standing tensions between hunting and conservation mean stories for environmental reporters, especially as hunting season gets underway. But as this week’s TipSheet points out, much hunting also takes place in one of the nation’s most protected habitats — its national wildlife refuges. A look at why, and where, plus a scan of the landscape of sources and resources to tell the story more richly.

October 24, 2018

  • Climate, environment and energy issues figure prominently in the upcoming Nov. 6 elections, whether in individual races, ballot measures or significant power shifts. This week’s TipSheet provides starting points to track relevant races, and runs down 11 big environmental ballots, ranging from measures like a carbon tax in Washington state and drilling ban in Florida, to tight congressional races in California, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Carolina and Virginia.

October 17, 2018

  • When it comes to facing the risks of coming climate change, cities and states are leading the way for the United States. That means planning for future emissions reductions, as well as preparing for probable impacts. This week’s TipSheet has the story, with details on which local governments are acting and resources to find more, plus ten key questions to ask.

October 10, 2018

  • Incinerators — there may be fewer of them these days, but it’s likely there’s still one near you and it’s probably polluting the air. How a cheap method to make garbage go away now has become a problem of its own, one that often sparks debates over environmental justice. This week’s Tipsheet has a quick rundown on incinerator regulation, outlines key problem areas and offers resources for reporting your own local incinerator story.

October 3, 2018

  • Local dams are threatened with floods brought by Hurricane Florence. But already, many of these dams were being removed after decades of building them up, as part of a growing effort to limit harm to the environment and hazards to local communities. This week’s TipSheet explains the trend, highlights some examples and points the way to databases and other resources to find and report on dams in your area.

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