Hazardous waste and floodwaters don’t typically mix well together. So when a Michigan dam recently burst, and flooded not just the local community, but also threatened a nearby Superfund site, it prompted Reporter’s Toolbox to look at how environmental journalists could track similar threats in their areas, especially as climate change raises the risks of similar disasters.
"Horseshoe crabs’ icy-blue blood will remain the drug industry’s standard for safety tests after a powerful U.S. group ditched a plan to give equal status to a synthetic substitute pushed by Swiss biotech Lonza and animal welfare groups."
"Though shuttered for a year, a Western Maryland paper mill’s byproducts continue to pollute the Potomac River, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh charged in a federal lawsuit."
"The EPA disagreed with a White House request to use current data when revising its rule on mercury air pollution, publicly available email exchanges show, which a law professor says could weaken the agency’s legal defense of the regulation."
"The legislation could inflict harsh new punishments on Black protesters opposing a massive complex of plastics plants on what are likely slave burial grounds."
"A coal company has challenged an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) power plant pollution regulation in court after the agency recently finalized changes that weaken the standards' legal underpinnings."
Unheeded warnings are the hallmark of many disasters. And with coronavirus still hobbling the nation, communities and journalists must now watch for all the ways COVID-19 could make even the most familiar hazards far worse. Prepare with this extensive Backgrounder, which touches on issues around evacuations and emergency readiness when facing storms, fires, toxic releases and more.
Regulations that sprang from cornerstone environmental laws in place for decades are now under attack by the Trump administration, per legal experts in a recent webinar co-sponsored by the Society of Environmental Journalists and Columbia University’s Earth Institute. Get key takeaways and resources from the event from SEJ’s Dale Willman. Plus, watch the full webinar video.
"A small-scale certification effort could offer a path forward."
"Urging residents to evacuate and saying downtown Midland could be under 9 feet of water by Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer late Tuesday declared a state of emergency for Midland County after the Edenville and Sanford dams breached."