Chemicals

Small-Market Reporter Gives Readers Reason To Care

Reporter Kyle Bagenstose has impressed Society of Environmental Journalists’ awards judges three times in the last four years with his investigative and small-market beat reporting on local and regional issues in Pennsylvania. In our latest Inside Story Q&A, Bagenstose discusses his award-winning work as a beat reporter and his first-place investigative prize for a series on the cleanup of toxic firefighting chemicals from streams and aquifers around military bases.

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"Firefighters Battle an Unseen Hazard: Their Gear Could Be Toxic"

"This week, in a first, firefighters are demanding independent testing for cancer-linked chemicals known as PFAS in their gear and that their union drop sponsorships from chemical and equipment makers."

"Every day at work for 15 years, Sean Mitchell, a captain in the Nantucket Fire Department, has put on the bulky suit that protects him from the heat and flames he faces on the job. But last year, he and his team came across unsettling research: Toxic chemicals on the very equipment meant to protect their lives could instead be making them gravely ill.

Source: NYTimes, 02/02/2021

Sea Lions Are Dying From Mysterious Cancer. The Culprits? Herpes and DDT

"On a former Cold War missile base perched high above the Golden Gate Bridge, in what is now the largest marine mammal hospital in the world, Frances Gulland still remembers the shock she felt when she first started working here as a veterinarian 26 years ago."

Source: LA Times, 02/01/2021

"Air Quality Regulators in “Cancer Alley” Have Fallen Dangerously Behind"

"An audit found that the time it takes the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality to issue penalties to polluters has doubled. Some companies that have been known to violate air quality rules were able to keep at it for years, or even decades."

Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 01/29/2021

"DuPont, Chemours in $4 Billion ‘Forever Chemicals’ Cost Pact"

"DuPont de Nemours Inc. and Chemours Co. agreed to a $4 billion settlement of a dispute over environmental liabilities shifted to Chemours after it was spun off in 2015. The accord, which also includes DuPont’s former seed business Corteva Inc., covers payments for liabilities tied to a class of chemicals known as PFAS, the companies said in a statement on Friday."

Source: Bloomberg, 01/25/2021

Super-Heated Year Ahead on Energy & Environment News

The Biden administration has moved rapidly to reset energy and environment policies dramatically shifted by the Trump White House. But how quickly can such a reversal occur, what are the priorities and what are the critical pathways for change? To help sort out the latest news and track larger trends, SEJournal offers this overview and analysis, part of our extensive “2021 Journalists’ Guide to Energy & Environment.”

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“Environment, Social Justice, and the Media in the Age of the Anthropocene”

A case study in how journalists can center environmental news around social justice is at the heart of a new volume of scholarly essays reviewed in the latest BookShelf. While its tale of rural residents poisoned by contaminants is decades old, its lesson of what happens when power players bank on media acquiescence holds for stories of today.

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"Navajo Nation, New Mexico Reach Settlements Over Mine Spill"

"The Navajo Nation’s Department of Justice announced Wednesday it has settled with mining companies to resolve claims stemming from a 2015 spill that resulted in rivers in three western states being fouled with a bright-yellow plume of arsenic, lead and other heavy metals."

Source: AP, 01/14/2021

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