Stories

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

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Search results for "treatment plant" ...

  • Down the Drain

    On May 16, 2011, a 100-foot-long section of a 23-foot-tall concrete wall collapsed only five years after it was constructed at the Binghamton-Johnson City Joint Sewage Treatment Plant in Vestal, N.Y., one of the largest sewage treatment plants in upstate New York. A Press & Sun-Bulletin investigation detailed how mismanagement by public officials in charge of a $20 million project to construct a new secondary sewage treatment system that included the wall allowed it to spiral into a $160 million environmental and economic disaster, burdening taxpayers and the Susquehanna River for years to come.
  • Lethal and Leaking

    In Hanford, WA millions of gallons of nuclear waste have been stored underground. The Department of Energy has been working to clean up the site since the early 1990s. However due to engineering miscalculations, the development of a treatment plant is behind schedule. Errors such as defective equipment and other mistakes that risk the safety of the plant have forced the price of the clean up to triple.
  • Biosludge

    This story explores whether any health risks exist from the spreading of biosludge on farmland. People in the Green Bay, Ala., area complained that the biosludge, the solid byproduct from sewage treatment plants, was making them sick. Scientists say the practice, while legal, merits further study. Calling the situation a developing public health problem, a former microbiologist with the EPA says biosludge needs to be treated to remove all of the pathogens and not just some of the pathogens as present practices allow.
  • State of Security - 9.11 Two Years Later

    Two years after the 9/11 attacks, The Times of Northwest Indiana looks at the region's security and how it remains unchanged post 9/11. This four part series looks at the region's special risks and found the region's water supply system had ample loopholes, especially security conditions in the local water treatment plant. They also found that the chemical plants in the area stored enough hazardous material to bring harm to all the people living in the area.
  • Don't drink the water

    An investigation of the Pompano Beach city water department turned up several problems at a new $25 million water treatment plant, the coverup of a chlorine outage factoring in prominently. The reporter also showed that officials held a sham grand opening of the plant - tricking the public into thinking the plant was up and running months before it was actually ready.
  • Dirty Work

    Three women stepped forward to expose a hostile and dangerous work environment at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Chicago. The stories of on-the-job harassment ranged from supervisors demanding sexual favors for possible promotions to being physically attacked on the job for refusing sexual advances. Hidden cameras also found pornographic magazines and graffiti in the break rooms at two sewage treatment plants. One of the whistleblowers received a bomb threat days before the report was aired.
  • A Fish Story: Last December A Poisonous Chemical Spill Wiped Out White River's Fish Population. Officials Say the Problem's Gone - But the Fish Still Are, Too.

    A December 1999 chemical spill from a wastewater treatment plant killed fish along a 50-mile stretch of Indiana's White River. Once home to a variety of game fish - catfish, crappie and bass - the river now "offers about as much sport as a washbasin." The treatment plant apparently took a week to admit the incident to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. In turn, IDEM did not notify the public for several more days about the spill. For three decades before the spill, the river had made a comeback to a viable waterway. Fortunately for those who care about the river, "the poison that caused the damage seems to be gone" and the river will hopefully recover. Environmentalists say that IDEM needs to be staffed with more environmental professionals, and that plants should be required to report anomalies within two hours.
  • Silicon Hell: High Tech's Toxic Toll

    San Francisco Bay Guardian looks at the the health problems of workers in the computer industry. Reveals large computer companies are contaminating soil, air and water with hazardous chemicals.
  • Century Freeway: Caltrans 'Dirty Little Secret'

    This story investigates the California Department of Transportation and exposed that Caltrans had put millions of dollars into "a secret rescue effort to keep a 3.5 mile section of the Century Freeway from collapsing because of underground erosion. ... Auditors now estimate that the repairs will ultimately cost $117 million and will require the construction of a treatment plant for the water that is pumped from beneath the freeway."
  • A River Under Seige

    In a three-day series examining the environmental and economic issues surrounding the San Joaquin River's slow death, The Record reveals the costs of living next to the sick river. The lower San Joaquin carries thousands of pounds of salt and selenium-laden runoff from farms, waste from dairies and untreated storm runoff. Ratepayers in Stockton face higher utility bills to improve a wastewater treatment plant. Farmers lose crops to salty water, and water earmarked for households and businesses must instead be used to help dilute the polluted river. (June 30 - July 2, 1996)