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 "spills" ...

  • Houston Chronicle: Silent Spills

    A joint investigation by the two news organizations (Houston Chronicle and AP)found that industrial spills unleashed by Hurricane Harvey in Houston were far worse than publicly reported. Impacted citizens were kept in the dark about their size and seriousness. State and federal officials misled the public with repeated assurances that no health hazards existed. Six months after Harvey, Texas regulators had not announced a single enforcement action from 89 incidents investigated. Reporters from the Chronicle and AP filed dozens of records requests, unearthing long-hidden government-funded research and cross-referencing spill data collected from a hodgepodge of state and local agencies to determine the true scope of the damage. The vital watchdog role they performed highlighted a lack of will by Texas state regulators to effectively police the petrochemical industry. But its industry-friendly approach had weakened local efforts to build cases against the worst polluters, many of them repeat environmental offenders.
  • Flood-related spills ignored by TX officials

    The El Paso Times exposed the fact that even though they had civil-air patrol photos of them, Texas officials have mostly ignored scores of spills of oil and fracking fluid during severe floods in recent years. When they reported on the photos, which were posted on an obscure government website, the Texas Department of Public Safety ended public access to them. After subsequent reporting and editorializing, officials returned them to public view. They obtained and analyzed scores of regulatory reports to rebut regulators' claims that they respond to every spill. The problematic responses to the spills, however, continue.
  • In North Dakota Oilfield Spill Problems Worsen; State Officials Misrepresent North Dakota’s Spill Problem

    Wastewater - also called saltwater or brine - is a common by product of oil and gas drilling. Wastewater spills are a common occurrence in North Dakota's oilfield. Inside Energy looked into state data to find out HOW common, and then used this analysis when the largest saltwater spill in state history occurred in January of 2015. We found that spills were on the increase, and that state officials regularly downplayed or misrepresented the spills. While oil spills generate headlines, wastewater spills are more devastating and can leave farmland sterile for generations.
  • Crude Awakening: 37 years of Alberta oil spills

    A multimedia series - including time-lapse animation, interactive infographics, photos, video and text - telling the story of oil spills in Alberta. The series, spawned by a months-long FOI quest, explores the nitty-gritty of the spills and data themselves but also analyzes the degree and quality of government oversight of a rapidly growing industry that is coming under unprecedented scrutiny. The stories told are both macro and micro - personal anecdotes and broader policy and oversight implications.
  • Blowouts, leaks and spills from the drilling boom

    The oil and gas industry doesn't like to talk about its environment and safety record beyond bland assertions that safety is a top goal. But drillers cause more than 6,000 spills each year. Until our investigation, no one had put a figure on it. The records are scattered amid databases, websites and even file drawers of state agencies across the country. EnergyWire spent four months assembling the data for the most comprehensive report yet on the spills that flow from the nation's oil and gas boom.
  • Secret Spills?

    The investigation exposed a disturbing secret about the oil and gas industry: spills, leaks, fires, explosions and emissions that are putting lives at risk, polluting the air, contaminating drinking water, destroying land, causing injuries and even death are happening all the time, nearly everyday in the U.S., and no one is keeping track.
  • Deep Trouble

    The Journal's initial coverage of the Gulf Oil Spill posed many questions about the impact of the spill. It also revealed that the Deepwater Horizon rig didn't have a remote-control shut-off switch, a feature used as a last-resort protection against oil spills.
  • "130 Million Tons of Waste"

    When coal is burned for electricity, it produces a byproduct called coal ash. "Every year, 130 million tons" of the ash is produced. It's "one of the largest waste-streams in the U.S.," and currently, there is little to no federal oversight. This report focuses on two major coal ash spills have occurred in the U.S. One of the spills caused "two communities to lose access to clean drinking water."
  • The Danger Below

    "For years in the state of Indiana, companies didn't even have to notify neighbors of toxic spills or the risk that they presented unless it was an adjacent property. In this two-part series, Sandra Chapman uncovers two major chains that have cost families their homes, their health and safe havens in their communities."
  • Hurricane Katrina environmental coverage

    In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans and the surrounding areas faced high environmental risks. This series of stories covers the effect that Katrina and the resulting floods had on the area. It uncovered risk ranging from oil spills to high mercury levels.