Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "contaminated sites" ...

  • Bombs In Your Backyard: Investigating One of America’s Greatest Polluters

    The military might of the United States has come at an extraordinary environmental price. The nation’s defense technologies and armaments have been developed, tested, stored, decommissioned and disposed of on vast tracts of American soil, where they have polluted fields and rivers, contaminated drinking water and put legions of people’s health at risk. For the first time, this project examined the full extent of the damage — 39,000 sites adding up to an area larger than the state of Florida, affecting millions of people. Our stories exposed the Pentagon’s routine practice of open burning of hazardous waste; its reliance on incompetent or fraudulent contractors that dump waste or fake cleanups; its four-decade campaign to make a dangerous and pervasive chemical explosive appear safe and avoid regulation; and its explicit refusal to comply with federal environmental laws even when the exposure of young children to lead poisoning from munition was at stake. We gained exclusive access to the Pentagon’s complete environmental dataset, and created a news application which for the first time mapped searchable data about contaminated sites across U.S. territories.
  • Bombs In Your Backyard

    The military might of the United States has come at an extraordinary environmental price. The nation’s defense technologies and armaments have been developed, tested, stored, decommissioned and disposed of on vast tracts of American soil, where they have polluted fields and rivers, contaminated drinking water and put legions of people’s health at risk. For the first time, this project examined the full extent of the damage — 39,000 sites adding up to an area larger than the state of Florida, affecting millions of people. Our stories exposed the Pentagon’s routine practice of open burning of hazardous waste; its reliance on incompetent or fraudulent contractors that dump waste or fake cleanups; its four-decade campaign to make a dangerous and pervasive chemical explosive appear safe and avoid regulation; and its explicit refusal to comply with federal environmental laws even when the exposure of young children to lead poisoning from munition was at stake. We gained exclusive access to the Pentagon’s complete environmental dataset, and created a news application which for the first time mapped searchable data about contaminated sites across U.S. territories.
  • Dirty Little Secrets: New Jersey’s Poorest Live Surrounded by Contamination

    WNYC found 89 percent of New Jerseyans live within a mile of a contaminated site. Most of those sites are in the process of being cleaned up, which can take years. But our investigation found 1,464 of the state’s 14,066 known contaminated sites don’t have any clean-up plan in place. Many sites have sat orphaned and polluted for years, and they are disproportionately found in low-income communities. http://www.wnyc.org/story/nj-contaminated-sites/
  • "Amazon Crude"

    More than 15 years ago, Ecuadorean residents sued Texaco for contaminating the Amazon Rain Forest with crude oil. The "oil waste pits" built by Texaco, now owned by Chevron, continue to leak toxins into the "region's waterways." According to an agreement between the company and the Ecuadorean government, Chevron is to cleanup 40 percent of the mess; however, the company "admitted" there is no record of all the contaminated sites.
  • Wasting Away: Superfund's Toxic Legacy

    An analysis of the EPA's Superfund program listing nearly 100 companies responsible for more than 40 percent of America’s most contaminated sites. Since the Superfund’s creation in 1980, of the 700 sites less than one in five have been cleaned up or removed from the list. From 1998 to 2005, the companies spent more than $1 billion lobbying to the federal government and contributed more than $120 million to federal campaigns.
  • Reclaiming the land

    A Dallas Business Journal investigation reviews the cleanup program for "nearly 400 contaminated sites identified as brownfields in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area." The reporter analyzed a database that contained the location and histories of "sites where dry cleaners, auto dealers, garages and others for decades mixed commerce with contaminants." The analysis reveals that small business owners can rarely afford to finance its own cleanup.