"A rare confirmation battle is brewing around the nomination of Andrew Wheeler, who ran the Environmental Protection Agency under President Donald J. Trump, to take a similar role in an incoming Republican state administration in Virginia."
Mid-Atlantic (DC DE MD PA VA WV)
"Andrew Wheeler, who served as head of EPA during the Trump administration, is returning to government service. Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin (R) announced today he chose Wheeler as his secretary of natural resources. Wheeler will be the state’s top environmental official and oversee five agencies focusing on the environment, natural resources and recreation."
"Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin is pledging to use executive action to pull Virginia out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a carbon market involving 10 other Mid-Atlantic and New England states."
The Mississippi River and its tributaries drain more than 40% of the continent, but most coverage of environmental stories within the Mississippi Basin is localized and siloed. The recently launched Mississippi River Basin Ag & Water Desk hopes to help news outlets provide region-wide reporting that contextualizes issues like climate change-driven flooding and the Gulf of Mexico dead zone.
"When Chesapeake Bay oysters and other shellfish become contaminated with sewage or other pollution, Maryland environmental officials normally alert the public before any are harvested or eaten. But that didn’t happen after a recent sewage spill in Southern Maryland — and at least two dozen people became ill."
"American shad, often called the “founding fish” for their historical and cultural significance, are on the brink of collapse in the James River, according to the latest State of the James report released Tuesday."
"Tangier Island, home to a Virginia fishing town and about 400 people, could be saturated by rising seas and convert to uninhabitable wetlands by 2051, according to an analysis released Monday.
The tiny island, which drew national attention for its residents’ support of former President Donald Trump and skepticism of climate change, is one of many Chesapeake Bay islands sinking because of local sea level rise and subsidence. People have lived on the island since the 18th century, but the residents could soon face displacement.
"Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin said during the campaign that he wouldn’t have signed the law, but support remains in the Senate and at two key regulatory agencies."
Two outstanding features — one on air pollution from a local coke plant in Pennsylvania, another on deaths from a shellfish toxin in Alaska, and both focused on public health, neglected communities and environmental justice — are the subject of the new Inside Story Q&A. Society of Environmental Journalists’ award-winners Nancy Averett and Zoya Teirstein share their reporting insights and advice.
"When residents in Union Hill, Virginia, decried the pipeline as a form of environmental racism, the energy company insisted it wasn’t".