TipSheet

TipSheet is a weekly source for story ideas, background, interview leads and reporting tools for journalists who cover news of the environment.

  • For questions and comments, or to suggest future TipSheets, email the SEJournal TipSheet editor Joseph A. Davis at sej@sej.org.
  • Journalists can receive TipSheet free by subscribing to the SEJournal Online, the digital news magazine of the Society of Environmental Journalists. Subscribe to the e-newsletter here. TipSheet is also available through the searchable archive below and via RSS feed.
  • Also see searchable archives of SEJ's WatchDog TipSheet, featuring story ideas, articles, updates, events and other information with a focus on freedom-of-information issues of concern to environmental journalists in both the United States and Canada.

Latest TipSheet Items

March 13, 2019

  • Hundreds of coal ash ponds and landfills around the United States pollute drinking water supplies, and now a newly released report helps localize the problem for environmental reporters. This week’s TipSheet explores the new data source, provides the back story on coal ash regulation (or lack thereof) and the potential health risks, while offering numerous questions to ask and resources to track down.

March 6, 2019

  • Where do all those recyclables actually go? This week’s TipSheet dives into the trash to find a story worth telling — of troubling overseas dumping, problematic local incineration and a fraying patchwork of U.S. regulation. Plus, several dozen questions you might want to ask, a pair of pro tips and a dozen resources to track the story in your area.

February 27, 2019

  • The fierce contest over the Trump border wall has critical environmental implications, both local and regional, per the latest TipSheet. A key suit against the Trump emergency declaration was filed by environmental groups and plans for a border barrier may harm significant wildlife habitat, as well as numerous migrating species, including some that are endangered. Get the back story and why it matters, along with story ideas and reporting resources.

February 20, 2019

  • A rare bipartisan package of public lands measures now moving through Congress is big national news and will yield numerous regional and local stories. The bill permanently authorizes a major conservation fund, expands parks, designates wilderness areas, bars some mining, protects bird species and more. This week’s TipSheet explores why the lands bill matters so much, tracks the legislation’s likely passage and helps you prep your coverage with story ideas and more than half a dozen reporting resources.

February 13, 2019

  • The Green New Deal may be just a broad outline, even after the recent introduction of a resolution in Congress. But don’t think the lack of specificity means the Green New Deal won’t be news for the long term. This week’s TipSheet explains the reasons the Green New Deal may endure and why it matters, plus story ideas and resources for journalists covering climate, environmental politics and more.

February 6, 2019

  • If a wood stove seems like a good solution to the winter’s bitter cold, you may want to think again. The unhealthful particulate pollution many such stoves generate has prompted new federal emission standards. But some states are pushing back, and the EPA is now considering a two-year delay in the new regulations. This week’s TipSheet has the latest news and why it matters, plus story ideas and reporting resources.

January 23, 2019

  • Enforcement on the environment front is way down recently, and that may not just be true at the EPA but other federal and state agencies as well. This special edition of TipSheet, part of our 2019 Journalists’ Guide to Energy and Environment, tracks the trend, pointing to some exemplary reporting that’s been covering the issue and showing how to use numerous data sources to investigate it on your own.

January 16, 2019

  • Expect the fight to worsen over the Trump Administration’s attempted rollback of auto mileage standards. Not only is California resisting a loss of its waiver to set tighter rules, joining at least 16 other states in a preemptive lawsuit. But carmakers themselves are deviating from the Trump line, worried over a fracturing of the nationwide auto market or seeking an edge in the field for more efficient vehicles. This special edition TipSheet looks at prospects for conflict in the year ahead.

January 9, 2019

  • The topic of climate change will certainly heat up in 2019. That’s not just because a Democratic House will push back against the Trump administration, but also because of pressure from a “Green New Deal” clean-energy jobs movement, not to mention ongoing legal action, and corporate and state-level moves to limit carbon emissions. This special edition TipSheet explores the fault lines on climate in the year ahead.

January 2, 2019

  • The Trump administration’s “war on science” is playing out not just at the EPA, with its controversial proposed “secret science” rule, but at federal agencies throughout the government. This special TipSheet lays out the conflict, and offers guidance on how to turn the overarching issue into a story with character and a regional or local sense of place. Plus, see more in our ongoing 2019 Journalists’ Guide to Energy & Environment.

Pages