Health

Latest TRI Data Can Charge Up Local Stories, Including on PFAS

When it comes to a core data set that just keeps giving for environmental journalists, Reporter’s Toolbox points you to the Toxics Release Inventory. A new year of data has just been released, with much insight to be extracted. And the TRI now also includes PFAS chemicals for the first time. Here’s how to use it for your local stories.

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Bring Home Cyber Risks to Water Supply, in Wake of EPA Tightening

With the federal government now requiring that states pay closer attention to cybersecurity risks in their regular audits of public drinking water systems, environmental journalists should be doing the same, suggests the latest TipSheet. Here’s how to gauge the cyber risk and to understand the current safe drinking water regulatory regime, plus story ideas and resources to bolster your local reporting.

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Why the 2023 Farm Bill Will Actually Be an Environmental Story — and a Huge One

A massive farm bill soon to emerge for debate in Congress will have enormous implications for the environment beat, affecting natural resources, environmental health and climate, not to mention food production and public health. Backgrounder lays out some of the key issues expected to be taken up in the twice-a-decade measure and provides resources for ongoing coverage.

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Coming Your Way by Rail Today — A Hazmat Rogues’ Gallery

Environmental reporters can prepare for possible rail accidents involving hazardous materials — like the one that hit East Palestine, Ohio — by having a keener understanding of what hazmat may be regularly carried through their communities. The latest Reporter’s Toolbox guides you to helpful lists of dangerous substances while offering a rundown of nearly a dozen-and-a-half of the worst offenders and their risks.

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Finding the Secret Rail Hazmat Routes Near You

Under federal rules, states can decide whether to divulge information about hazardous materials rolling along their railways — and mostly they don’t. Not knowing where and when hazmat trains are traveling or what’s on board creates anxiety and raises the risk for those who live near the tracks. TipSheet offers resources and step-by-step instructions for investigating railway hazmat threats to your community.

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From Swine Waste, Student Journalist Extracts Prize-Winning Story

Industrial hog farmers tout swine biogas as a clean, green energy source, but others point to its messy side. A young journalist who investigated the underreported stench of environmental racism associated with this technology learned valuable lessons along the way to producing a feature story that won her a Society of Environmental Journalists’ award for outstanding student reporting.

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Will Thousands of Orphan Wells Be Safely Plugged?

Abandoned oil and gas wells are found in significant numbers in some 27 states. Reporters who want to track their status can dig into several databases, but will need to support their data crunching with lots of shoe-leather and ground-truth reporting. Reporter’s Toolbox has insights into what the databases offer. Plus, a primer on API numbers.

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Diving Deeper on the Wetlands Beat Yields Groundbreaking Coverage

Two journalists covering water policy used a wide range of reporting techniques, from FOIA appeals to on-the-ground reporting, to get at the heart of how problems with wetlands and waterways in the United States are tied to climate change concerns. Inside Story spoke with Hannah Northey and Kevin Bogardus of E&E News about their award-winning beat reporting.

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What’s in the Air in Kids’ Schools? Lessons on Addressing Indoor Pollution

Now that kids are mostly back in school (and perhaps longing for snow days to send them back home), environmental reporters might want to start exploring some of the things that could make them sick. Not viruses, but potential pollutants. TipSheet explores the problem and why current law may do little to address it.

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