As coal mines close, mined land is left idle post-closure

An investigation by Climate Home News found that the money available for the clean up of defunct coal mines across the U.S. is insufficient, with Central and Northern Appalachia the most at risk. Relying on first-of-their-kind databases, the five-part series found that West Virginia Governor Jim Justice uses a legal loophole to idle his mines…

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How poor countries are used to feed rich countries

Eldiario.es uncovered how the world’s poor are used to feed rich nations. Reporters focused on the most popular crops in Europe, sugar, cacao, bananas, coffee and African palm in Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia and the Ivory Coast. The story covers tax evasion from Guatemalan sugar barons, Colombian farmers relying on the whims of speculation, the destruction of the Honduran environment from growing only African…

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EPA can’t account for all properties in Pennsylvania cleanup

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – using agency data – cannot precisely account for all the properties near a Pennsylvania battery plant with lead-to-soil concentrations that met the cleanup threshold a decade ago, the Reading Eagle has learned. The EPA has maintained that residential properties in Laureldale and Muhlenberg Township near Exide Technologies with lead…

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Natural gas building boom fuels climate worries, enrages landowners

The Center for Public Integrity teamed up with StateImpact Pennsylvania on an investigation into the federal regulator behind an Appalachian natural-gas pipeline building boom. Only twice in the past 30 years has the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rejected a pipeline out of hundreds proposed. The investigation found blurred lines between the agency and the industry,…

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Lead’s Hidden Toll

Reuters continues its reporting exposing hidden lead hazards nationwide in a 2-part series, Lead’s Hidden Toll. Part 1, constructed from previously undisclosed data, reveals how lead afflicts neighborhoods rich and poor in Los Angeles County, the nation’s most populous. Findings surprised local leaders, moving them to immediate reforms. Part 2 reveals how Reuters has now…

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Washington’s 30-year earthquake drill for the ‘Big One’: Order studies. Ignore them. Repeat.

A Seattle Times investigation found that despite the danger of catastrophic earthquakes on the Cascadia fault line, Washington lags behind other states in protecting its communities.  While numerous recommendations for safety measures have been made, state officials have not followed through on actions that require money or legislation.  Although five government reports since 1986 have…

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After Pushback, Oregon Scraps Report Linking Private Forests To Water Quality Risks

Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality drafted a report that identified logging as a contributor to known risks for drinking water quality in communities up and down the Oregon coast. But the report has never been published. It was scrapped by the agency after intense pushback and charges of anti-logging bias from the timber industry and…

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Reuters finds lead levels higher than Flint’s in thousands of locales

Flint, Michigan, is likely the most well-known lead hotspot in America. But a Reuters examination of lead testing results across the country found that Flint doesn’t rank among the nation’s most dangerous areas for lead poisoning. Reuters found almost 3,000 places with poisoning rates much higher than the Michigan city. To identify these locations, Reuters…

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