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 "water pollution" ...

  • Boeing’s Lobbying Campaign

    “Boeing’s Lobbying Campaign" uses public records to trace how The Boeing Co.’s lobbying killed a long-overdue correction to an obscure but important formula used to determine how much water pollution is allowed under the Clean Water Act. The lobbying by a Boeing senior executive, InvestigateWest showed, reached all the way to Gov. Christine Gregoire. After the Washington Department of Ecology had withstood challenges to its plans to tighten the water-pollution rules from the powerful timber and business industries during the 2012 legislative session, Boeing had the juice to quietly short-circuit those plans a few months later. The company went around Ecology to the governor, as InvestigateWest’s timeline of documents and emails made clear. Our reporting was carried in newspapers around the state, sparking reporting and editorials by other news organizations on the previously low-profile issue. Environmentalists also cited the series in a lawsuit against the EPA. Because we elevated this issue into public consciousness, reporters were all over the story when Boeing again tried to delay the changes in the 2013 legislative session, nearly causing a government shutdown. A new draft rule tightening the standards is due out in March 2014.
  • Washed Away

    This investigation revealed the "huge environmental risk to North Carolina's lakes and rivers when you combine a poorly run state restoration program with state and federal rules that do not stress water quality improvements." It was found, among other things, that the state spent $140 million on faulty water projects.
  • Toxic Waters

    With the aid of more than 500 Freedom of Information requests, reporter Charles Duhigg uncovered major problems with the nation's Clean Water Act. He found that out of the many "chemical plants" and "large manufacturers" who broke water pollution laws over the past several years, few were punished or even fined. He also found that millions of U.S. residents "have been exposed" to water that could be damaging to their health.
  • The Deadliness Below: Decades of Dumping Chemical Arms Leave a Risky Legacy

    The Army secretly dumped at least 64 million pounds of chemical weapons off the coastlines of 11 states and 16 other countries, didn't tell anyone about it, and 20 years ago stopped checking the few sites that were ever inspected. The weapons are incredibly dangerous, likely are leaking, and will pose a threat for generations. The Army doesn't know where all the dumpsites are located, and admits that more likely exist than have been discovered.
  • Toxic Offender: Disastrous Sewage Plant Threatens Health

    This series documents Twarowski's investigation into complaints of dangerous and unhealthy conditions inside the Cedar Creek Water Pollution Control Plant in Wantaugh, NY. Employees clandestinely videotaped horrendous conditions inside the plant and Twarowski later verified their findings in person. Each visit to the vast plant turned up more safety hazards.
  • Special Report: 17 Years of Ocean Dumping

    The KBS team obtained a South Korean government report documenting years of industrial pollution in the East Sea. They interviewed fishermen who said their catches were contaminated. Analysis of sampled crabs revealed high concentrations of heavy metals in them. The story includes on-site examination of a location where pollutants were discharged into the sea. The investigators looked at the British government's solutions to offshore dumping in British waters.
  • What the atomic age left behind

    This series described a 10.5-million-ton pile of nuclear waste polluting the Colorado River. The waste was left over from decades of milling uranium ore, first for atomic weapons and later for nuclear fuel. For decades, the pile of toxic and radioactive waste leaked into the river, which provides the drinking water for more than 20 million people in three western states. It was the largest of the dozens of piles of tailings and the only one that hadn't been moved away from major rivers in the United States. And for a while, it appeared it would stay put, contaminating the river for centuries.
  • Sedimentary journey: Dredging at end of line

    This article examines the recent dredging of the Providence River. It discusses the many ways in which the project was successful, and summarizes the main points of the debate surrounding the project.
  • The Teck Caminco Series

    This story looks at pollution problems in river Columbia. Trail B.C., a smelter poured factory wastes into the Columbia river. This river flows across the border to Canada where the law regarding toxic wastes are not very stringent. Recent investigations revealed that the toxic wastes in the river are causing harm to the marine life in the area. This story investigates the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to enforce restrictions on the smelter owner Teck Cominco Ltd. and force them to clean the area.
  • Toxic Chemicals Taint Barton Waters

    Samples from a smattering of Austin city waterways showed high levels of toxins, some higher than levels f the same chemicals in Superfund sites. The levels of contaminants pose some serious health concerns for the city, which has the waterways under its jurisdiction.