With flood-ravaged Midwestern states in the news, it’s time to ask whether your own community is ready for the “big one.” This week’s TipSheet offers a 10-point Resiliency Checklist to focus your reporting. Track the vulnerability of infrastructure like drinking water and sewage plants, roads, bridges and levees, the adequacy of flood insurance and much more.
Great Plains (IA KS ND NE MO SD)
"The Environmental Protection Agency notified Missouri environmental regulators this month that the state’s plan for overseeing the disposal of toxic waste from coal-fired power plants is not strong enough to protect human health and the environment."
"Record flooding along the Missouri River has impaired treatment of drinking supplies in Kansas City, raising health risks for infants, the elderly and others with compromised immune systems, the municipal water service warned on Saturday."
"A federal judge on Wednesday struck down an Iowa law that made it illegal to get a job at a livestock farm to conduct an animal cruelty undercover investigation, finding the law violated the constitutional right to free speech."
"Toxic lead coursed through Christopher Holland Jr.’s body at two critical points in his life: as a toddler poisoned by lead paint and as a 20-year-old struck down by bullets."
The new year will likely mean subpoenas on EPA’s FOIA response policies, as a Democrat takes the chair in the House Oversight Committee amid charges the agency is choking off politically sensitive record requests. And are new laws in a dozen states making coverage of pipeline protests a felony? That, plus air emission exemptions for animal feedlot operators and data on illegal fishing. All in the latest issue of the WatchDog.
The upward trends for renewable energy sources like wind and solar are a sure source of news for 2019, even if challenging political, economic and technical obstacles remain. This week’s TipSheet explains why, plus suggests stories to look for, notes the points of possible contention and offers a range of reporting resources to turn to.