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 "environmental impact" ...

  • Bottled Water from a National Forest

    The Desert Sun revealed in a series of investigations that the U.S. Forest Service has been allowing Nestle to pipe water out of a national forest to produce bottled water using a permit that lists an expiration date of 1988. The newspaper found that Forest Service officials failed to follow through on plans for an environmental review that would have assessed whether the use of water for bottling is harming sensitive habitat along a creek. The Desert Sun also obtained records showing the agency hasn’t examined the environmental impacts of hundreds of expired permits that allow for the use of water from national forests.
  • Landslide Safety All Over The Map

    A catastrophic landslide in Oso, Washington -- a state dotted with landslide-prone slopes -- in March 2014 traveled more than 3,000 feet from its base, in the process burying a community and killing 43 people. A joint KUOW-Earthfix investigation found that most of Washington's counties routinely allow homes to be built 50 feet or less from known landslide zones, although landslides commonly travel hundreds of feet.
  • Logging and Landslides

    After a landslide killed 43 in the town of Oso, Washington, our KUOW investigation found that Washington state's department of natural resources had allowed clear-cutting on sensitive ground that, by law, should have been protected from logging to avoid triggering a slide above Oso. We also documented the agency head's broken vow not to take campaign contributions from the timber industry he regulates.
  • Hydrogen Energy: Pollution or Solution

    This is the result of a two-month investigation into a proposed, federally-funded "green-energy" power plant in the middle of California's Central Valley. This plant planned to gasify coal and use new technology to diminish the amount of CO2 released into the air. This would be done by using carbon sequestration in nearby oil fields, creating jobs and energy for the valley. However this report shows that while this power plant reduces CO2 emissions and creates dozens of temporary jobs, the additional environmental impacts are substantial. The plant plans to truck in coal dust past schools and neighborhoods, use millions of gallons of water a day in drought-stricken farming country, pollute the air with particulate pollution in the most polluted air region in the country, store hazardous chemicals near schools and homes, fill landfills at an alarming rate, AND at the end of it all the plant will produce at times NO electricity.
  • Drilling for Billions

    This series of stories focuses on the potential economic boost and environmental impact of extracting oil from Monterey Shale in Central California. To explore the topic 17 News traveled to western North Dakota to examine the impacts of their shale revolution. Experts in the piece explain the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing or fracking is used in shale booms. We explore the practice as it is done in California speaking with engineers on the forefront of exploration. According to industry, KGET is the only station ever allowed to speak with Central California industry engineers about the widely talked about oil completion practice used everyday in our community. 17 News was also granted unprecedented access to AERA Energy's exploration department taking a look at information even those in the industry are not privy to.
  • Toxic Legacy

    Employees of Technicoat, a metal coating company based in Fort Worth in the ‘70s and 80s, hired teenagers to dispose of industrial waste and harmful chemicals. None of the employees went through any kind of safety training or were given protective gear. Now many of the company’s former employees have either died from illnesses linked to chemical exposure or are currently battling illnesses that are likely related to being exposed to chemicals during their tenure at Technicoat. The story found that the city of Fort Worth and the Tarrant Regional Water District are still dealing with the environmental impact of the company’s illegal chemical dumping – sometimes down storm drains, in holes dug in the ground, or straight into the Trinity River – as the area that housed the Technicoat plant is being redeveloped. It also discovered that the company blatantly disregarded federal safety standards and was fined multiple times by different federal, state, and local agencies for environmental and safety violations.
  • The Battle of Belo Monte

    In the Brazilian state of Pará, an army of 25,000 workers is building the world’s third largest hydroelectric plant, a controversial construction project –because of the dam’s low efficiency, its environmental impact and its effects on the Indians, riverbank-dwellers and the inhabitants of Altamira. Folha’s reporters spent three weeks in the region to put together the most comprehensive coverage –with 24 videos, 55 pictures, and 18 infographics– of the country’s largest infrastructural investment. The pros and cons of the dam are presented in five chapters: Construction; Environment; Society; Indigenous Peoples; History.
  • "Hey, Green Spender"

    Aldhous and McKenna analyzed data from two available databases to determine whether or not "environmentally conscious" purchasing and investment choices can create a "green economy." The reporters found that consumers are generally confused about a company's "green credentials" and the consequent environmental cost. The results from the investigation encourage companies to fully disclose "their environmental impacts."
  • Losing Ground

    The Express-News found that an obscure Texas law involving "vested rights" was allowing developers to do clear-cuts on forested lands and watersheds in defiance of city codes. These practices endanger the sometimes fragile environment of the scenic Texas hill country.
  • Strangely Like War: The Global Assault on Forests

    This book reviews the history of deforestation, the environmental impacts of industrial wood and paper operations and the impact on endangered wildlife species and indigenous peoples. The authors review various solutions to the problems.