Companies of all kinds face the prospect of major costs or losses as they face a future of unknown risks and uncertain regulations — and you are provided an environmental reporting opportunity.
Laws & Regulations
After an October 2009 EPA proposal to regulate coal ash, documents show coal industry officials started meeting with OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, and soon EPA announced it was postponing proposal of the coal-ash regulation.
Washington Post reporter Lyndsey Layton writes about the thousands of chemicals exempted from EPA screening for potential harm to the environment and public health — and the three-decades-old Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that renders it possible, in the interest of protecting manufacturers' bottom lines.
With data on ~4,600 civil and criminal enforcement actions in fiscal year 2009, you can determine trends by state and EPA Region for type and extent of enforcement; track down enforcement actions in areas of interest to your audience; and serve as a starting point for stories that are seemingly unrelated to an enforcement action.
There is no word yet on when the full Senate will take it up. The House has already passed a different shield bill — raising hopes that one could become law during this Congress.
While there are plenty of EPA databases already on line, not all of them are in a form that can be quickly downloaded in their entirety and imported into standard database software. That's a key criterion specified, and one that will ease computer-assisted reporting for journalists.
Federal legislation to protect reporters from having to reveal confidential sources may be back on track. A markup in the Senate Judiciary Committee, possibly November 5, 2009, could tell.
The Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on Dec. 2, 2009. The case, which started with legal action in 2004, involves a dispute over restoration of a stretch of Florida panhandle beaches damaged by storms.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) says Congress has to do more to fix the Freedom of Information Act — especially stemming the hundreds of special exemptions created by Congress itself.
A federal law protecting reporters who maintain the confidentiality of their sources is currently stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee as Obama breaks campaign promise.