As funding from the U.S. government’s massive infrastructure bill starts to get spent, big swaths of it on environmental-related concerns, Reporter’s Toolbox points to a problem for journalists covering it — there appears to be no single database to help track the money. But for intrepid reporters, various data sources are out there to help tell the story.
In a second Issue Backgrounder looking at major environmental questions before the U.S. Supreme Court, SEJournal considers the long-standing controversy about the definition of “waters of the United States.” The Clean Water Act case, which the high court could (re)decide during its next term, would have profound environmental and economic implications. The latest Backgrounder wades into the issue.
"President Joe Biden has tapped Catherine J.K. Sandoval for the US Chemical Hazard and Safety Investigation Board."
"Residents of the New Mexico canyon scorched by the Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon fires blame the government for the acres they lost".
A growing number of U.S. dams are in poor condition — with potentially lethal results. But the latest WatchDog Opinion argues that equally troubling is that that information is kept secret from the public and journalists in a national database.
A milestone legal challenge soon to be decided by the U.S. high court could severely limit how the U.S. government regulates the greenhouse gasses that cause climate change. The new Issue Backgrounder takes a look at West Virginia v. EPA, its legal implications, the politics behind it and what it would mean for efforts to curb future impacts of global warming.
An intriguing portal to the vast data resources of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — the Environmental Dataset Gateway — could lead to many hidden story ideas, suggests the latest Reporter’s Toolbox. Find out more about the EDG and consider a handful of possible angles, including PCB transformer registrations, precipitation, heat-related hospitalizations and chemicals in consumer products.
The public’s right to know about toxic and hazardous chemicals is currently limited by trade secret rules that no longer serve any true purpose, argues the new WatchDog Opinion column. And a pending federal rulemaking is an opportunity for journalists to make the case to draw back the curtain, for the sake of their reporting and so that they can better cover their communities’ risks.
There was a moment within living memory when Democrats and Republicans came together — in a time of extraordinary political turmoil — to pass landmark legislation to clean U.S. waters, limit toxic substances and pesticides, and empower the government to protect the environment. BookShelf’s Nano Riley reviews a new book that explores that time, and which speculates on why things have changed.