Top environment investigations from 2013

December 30, 2013

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Editors note: As the year winds down, we wanted to revisit some of the best accountability journalism from each of our coverage sections. We’ll be posting a new list daily for the rest of the year.
It was a banner year for our environment and workers rights team: they were honored with the White House Correspondents Association’s Edgar A. Poe Award, documented the largely unknown influence of the chemical industry, and revealed how sick miners’ efforts to receive benefits for black lung disease are defeated by doctors and lawyers.

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EPA in the dark

An EPA panel appointed to study hexavalent chromium included scientists who had consulted for industry in lawsuits. Keep reading

Delay and denial on chromium

Tens of millions of Americans drink tap water tainted with chromium. But industry pushback has made it hard for the EPA to regulate. Keep reading

"Trees were sinking into it and not coming back"

What’s happening in Belle Rose has played out in dozens of communities threatened by environmental hazards so dire residents feel compelled to demand that industry or government move them out. But as Bayou Corne’s experience shows, winning buyouts is never easy, and leaving is often painful. The community’s travails reveal the human cost of pollution. Keep reading

‘Upset’ emissions: Flares in the air, worry on the ground

Residents living along the chemical corridor of Texas and Louisiana often encounter ‘upset’ emissions — triggering pollution, health fears. Keep reading

Climate plan, coal pushback

President Obama’s climate plan, vital to his green agenda, is drawing close scrutiny — and sharp critiques — from powerful coal forces. Keep reading

Chemical lobby in the states

The fight between industry and activists over regulation of toxic chemicals has shifted from Washington, D.C., to state venues. Keep reading

Lethal fibers, industry denial

Facing 60,000 asbestos claims over a product it once sold, Georgia-Pacific responded with a legal pushback — and secretive science. Keep reading

Breathless and Burdened

Prominent law firm Jackson Kelly has withheld evidence of black lung in cases over the years, helping to defeat the benefits claims of sick miners. Keep reading

Coal’s doctors of choice

A surprising force has helped industry defeat black lung benefits claims for ailing miners: Johns Hopkins University. Keep reading

The cancer factory

A decades-long spate of bladder cancer at a Goodyear plant in Niagara Falls, N.Y. spotlights limits of regulation over dangerous chemicals. Keep reading

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