Great Plains (IA KS ND NE MO SD)

Is Your Favorite River Endangered? Check the List.

The latest release of the annual endangered rivers list provides boatloads of environmental reporting angles, including climate change-related threats like flooding and drought. This week’s TipSheet has the backstory and the new top-10 list, plus 10 suggested starting points for stories and a half-dozen key reporting resources.

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May 17, 2019

DEADLINE: Science Essentials for Political Reporters

SciLine invites applications by May 17 for an all-expenses-paid workshop, Aug 4-6, 2019, designed to arm journalists — including those without deep backgrounds in science — with the knowledge and context they need to incorporate research-based evidence and data into their 2020 campaign coverage. Key topics include energy and climate; agriculture, water and the environment; and immigration and trade.


Resiliency Checklist — Is Your Community Ready for the Next Big Flood?

With flood-ravaged Midwestern states in the news, it’s time to ask whether your own community is ready for the “big one.” This week’s TipSheet offers a 10-point Resiliency Checklist to focus your reporting. Track the vulnerability of infrastructure like drinking water and sewage plants, roads, bridges and levees, the adequacy of flood insurance and much more.

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EPA Says Missouri’s Plan To Regulate Coal Ash Disposal Is Too Weak

"The Environmental Protection Agency notified Missouri environmental regulators this month that the state’s plan for overseeing the disposal of toxic waste from coal-fired power plants is not strong enough to protect human health and the environment."

Source: St. Louis Public Radio, 03/25/2019

"Flooding Impairs Drinking Water Treatment For Kansas City, Missouri"

"Record flooding along the Missouri River has impaired treatment of drinking supplies in Kansas City, raising health risks for infants, the elderly and others with compromised immune systems, the municipal water service warned on Saturday."

Source: Reuters, 03/25/2019
February 22, 2019

DEADLINE: IJNR's Lower Mississippi River Institute

The Institute for Journalism & Natural Resources invites journalists on an expenses-paid learning expedition down the Lower Mississippi to get a first-hand look at some of the stories along its shores, April 24-May 1, 2019, visiting small river towns to large global ports as we travel from St. Louis to New Orleans. Apply by Feb 22.

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Iowa ‘Ag-Gag’ Law Banning Undercover Farm Probes Ruled Unconstitutional

"A federal judge on Wednesday struck down an Iowa law that made it illegal to get a job at a livestock farm to conduct an animal cruelty undercover investigation, finding the law violated the constitutional right to free speech."

Source: AP, 01/11/2019
February 1, 2019

DEADLINE: ICN’s Environmental Reporting Workshop for Midwest Journalists

InsideClimate News, the Pulitzer Prize-winning national nonprofit newsroom, will hold a free, two-day training for about ~12 winning applicants from March 7-8, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. The workshop will be focused on business journalism and center on covering the clean-energy economy in the Midwest. Deadline is Feb 1.

Topics on the Beat: 

Oversight on EPA FOIA Screening,  Covering Pipeline Protests, Feedlot Air Emissions, Data on Illegal Fishing

The new year will likely mean subpoenas on EPA’s FOIA response policies, as a Democrat takes the chair in the House Oversight Committee amid charges the agency is choking off politically sensitive record requests. And are new laws in a dozen states making coverage of pipeline protests a felony? That, plus air emission exemptions for animal feedlot operators and data on illegal fishing. All in the latest issue of the WatchDog.

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