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 [email protected] where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "waste" ...

  • 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.
  • 134 Cases, $36 Million: Inside Sexual Misconduct At America's Biggest County Government

    A first-of-its-kind investigation into Los Angeles County revealed more than one hundred sexual misconduct cases that ended with settlements or judgments paid for with public funds.
  • Fighting The Wrong Fires

    OPB’s science and environment team spent a year analyzing government data, reviewing scientific literature and interviewing more than 100 people to find out why firefighting costs have soared and why, 30 years after its scientists first raised red flags, the U.S. Forest Service continues to risk lives and waste millions of dollars fighting fires it doesn't need to fight.
  • Pennsylvania Turnpike investigation

    WTAE TV revealed waste, mismanagement and conflicts of interest at the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Emails showed turnpike officials congratulating themselves for their response to a storm that left more than 500 drivers stranded for more than 20 hours. Records revealed turnpike commissioners getting take-home cars even though they meet only once a month. Documents showed a turnpike commissioner cutting personal business deals with turnpike vendors. All this occurred as the turnpike hiked tolls and cut back on projects to deal with a financial crisis.
  • America’s Chernobyl?: Inside the Most Toxic Place in the Nation

    In the course of a six-month investigation, the NBC News Investigative Unit discovered that numerous workers are sick and some have died at a Department of Energy nuclear site, and documented allegations from workers that the US government is covering up the danger. Their report on NBC’s Today Show prompted legislative action and raised larger questions about the ability of the federal government to store some of its most dangerous waste.
  • The Human Toll of Hanford's Dirty Secrets

    "The Human Toll of Hanford’s Dirty Secrets" exposed that in 2016 an unprecedented number of Hanford nuclear workers became ill after breathing toxic chemical vapors emanating from nuclear waste, while the federal government sat back and did little to remedy the crisis. We showed that instead of taking action to protect its workers, officials from the U.S. Department of Energy, Hanford’s operator, waged a cover up campaign, denied any problem existed, and even punished workers who insisted on better health protections.
  • Seismic Denial

    Despite growing scientific evidence, Texas won't admit that fracking wastewater is causing earthquakes. Why?
  • To Build a Home: The Navajo Housing Tragedy

    Arizona Republic staffers Craig Harris, Dennis Wagner and Michael Chow spent more than a year examining how one tribe - the Navajo Nation - could receive more than $1 billion in federal funds for homes, yet have a massive housing crisis amid a generation of wasteful spending, construction blunders and a stockpiling of funds.
  • Holding the Pentagon Accountable

    In 2016, Washington Post reporter Craig Whitlock surmounted the Pentagon's Byzantine bureaucracy and near-epidimic secrecy to reveal epic examples of military corruption and waste. Drawing on years of Pentagon beat reporting experience and deft use of the Freedom of Information Act, Whitlock exposed several scandals that defense officials fought to conceal from the public.