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" ...

  • Freelance: Abandoning American coal mines

    Since reaching a historical high in 2008, U.S. coal production plummeted by a third in the ensuing decade. Companies accounting for nearly half the coal dug across the country declared for bankruptcy in 2015 and 2016, and President Donald Trump’s rhetorical ending of the “war on coal” has shown no meaningful signs of reviving the industry. With the writing on the wall for U.S. coal, I investigated the system meant to guarantee that funds are available to pay for environmental cleanup. I built first-of-their-kind databases to determine how much money was in this system, where it was held and other trends in the industry such as levels of oversight and types of post-mining land uses. A combination of data analysis and ground-level reporting from around the country resulted in stories that showed myriad issues in protecting cleanup funds, which result in scarred land and polluted air and water.
  • Flood of Distrust: A Story on San Diego’s Mismanaged Water Department

    “Flood of Distrust” is the culmination of our year-long investigation into the San Diego water department. We found the department was unable to perform basic functions for citizens of the country’s eighth largest city. Our work prompted the city to refund tens of thousands of dollars to customers and caused significant changes in the department’s management, including the abrupt exit of the department’s director. “Flood of Distrust” exposes a mismanaged and unsupervised public utility department, a department that cost San Diegans thousands of dollars and is in desperate need of repair.
  • Daily Herald: Illinois tollway series

    The Illinois tollway, governed by a nonelected board of political appointees, is the only option to get around the Chicago region for millions of drivers who spend $1.3 billion annually to use the system. While hardworking customers paid tolls, tollway executives and board directors were quietly hiring political insiders for high-paying jobs, handing lucrative contracts to firms where their relatives worked, and weakening bylaws to water down the tollway board’s conflict-of-interest rules. As the Daily Herald exposed nepotism, patronage and excessive spending at the tollway, the agency’s leaders fought back. Tactics included denying FOIAs, concealing information and accusing the newspaper of harassment. The Daily Herald’s investigation caught the attention of other media, two governors and state lawmakers who ultimately fired the tollway board of directors in early 2019. Legislators credited the Herald’s investigative series with alerting the public about what Gov. J.B. Pritzker referred to “unethical behavior.”
  • CNBC: Oceans of Crime

    This is a crime story, set in the most open and lawless place on earth – the ocean. The perpetrators traffic in an illegal product – seafood. Their front-line workers are literally slaves. And almost anyone who buys salmon, canned tuna, or pet food is helping to fund this outlaw industry, whether they realize it or not. In this documentary about illegal fishing, CNBC illustrates the often shocking, unethical path much of our seafood takes from the water to our dinner plates, and what is being done to curb the often monumental abuses that occur along the way. Because illegal fishing is both a human rights and an environmental issue, CNBC’s goal was to explore the entire supply process and introduce all those involved – fishermen suffering abuse, the perpetrators, the would-be rescuers and enforcers, and the consumers who make it all possible, whether they know it or not.
  • The Catch

    "The Catch" is documentary investigation that found Canada may be complicit in violating international law because the country’s navy and air force assists the U.S. Coast Guard to police international waters and capture suspected drug smugglers, some of whom have reported mistreatment on board U.S. Coast Guard vessels.
  • Testing the Waters

    "Testing the Waters" is a two-part investigation into concerns of lead contamination in local drinking water on the Alabama Gulf Coast. After an extensive analysis of public records, FOX10 News Investigates found eight water systems across Mobile and Baldwin counties have had testing results above the legal limit for lead content in the last three years. Further, FOX10 News found local public schools were not previously testing for lead content, so we requested to test for them. As a result of our investigation, both Mobile and Baldwin County Public Schools started testing some of its older schools that could be at risk. Moreover, during the course of our investigation, the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) has announced it will help test all public schools over the next three years.
  • Lasting Scars

    Prisoners waterboarded and tortured by the U.S. suffered enduring wounds — flashbacks, nightmares, depression, headaches — without ever being properly treated.
  • Carbon Wars

    Climate change can seem abstract and overwhelming. Pollution, likewise, can seem intractable. In fact, macro subjects like these can be brought down to ground level, as evidenced by "Carbon Wars," an unsparing look at the fossil-fuel industry with the aim of accountability — calling out companies that poison our air and water and feed global warming, and regulators and politicians who can’t or won’t do their jobs.
  • Hell and High Water

    The Houston area is home to 6.5 million people, as well as America’s largest oil refining and petrochemical complex. And it’s a sitting duck for the extreme storms and floods that will become more common as the effects of climate change become more pronounced. So why isn’t Texas — or the federal government — doing more to protect it?
  • Lead Poisoning in Erie County and Buffalo

    Buffalo’s lead poisoning problem due to old housing stock and water utilities is getting out of hand. Investigative Post found that both the Erie County Water Authority and the Buffalo Water Board cut corners in their lead sampling programs for drinking water.