ByCynthia Voelkl/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
“The egg business has undergone massive changes in the last 45 years. Once predominantly represented by such small family farms, it began to shift heavily toward industrialization and more vertically integrated systems, according to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center (AGMRC). Where once a flock of 400 laying hens was the norm, industrial flocks today can top 5 million hens.”
ByLeah Douglas/Food and Environmental Reporting Network |
Recent actions by the GOP-controlled Congress and the Trump administration have exempted big livestock farms from reporting air emissions. The moves follow a decade-long push by the livestock industry for exemption and leave neighbors of large-scale operations in the dark about what they’re inhaling. If that weren’t enough, environmental advocates warn that the failure to monitor those emissions makes it even harder to assess the climate effects of large-scale agriculture.
“See that brown building, to the left of the tree line? That’s the University of Dubuque. And a little further left, you can kind of see that little ridge, you can see it better some days, that’s the Platteville ‘M,’” John Foster, administrator for the Dubuque Metropolitan Area Regional Landfill, said, referencing the Wisconsin border-town’s landmark: a large white M on the side of a mound, by the Mississippi river. Foster was standing in Dubuque at the top of a closed landfill cell, one of nine cells the landfill has planned for the more than 600 acres around him — enough to last the Dubuque area in eastern Iowa through the century. But smaller landfills in Iowa have not fared as well as Dubuque’s the last 24 years, since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency created federal rules on issuing permits that municipal landfills have to follow.
ByKaolin Sewell/The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
The U.S. Department of Justice is pushing a federal appeals court to reconsider their decision on the pesticide chlorpyrifos more than a month after a three-judge panel ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to ban it.
Damage from coal ash disposal sites has become a growing concern in recent years after several spectacular disasters. Here's what we know about the damage to human health and the environment from large coal ash spills, and the costs of cleanup, from two disasters in the past decade.
Coal ash isn't regulated in the U.S. as a hazardous waste. The Obama EPA set rules which the Trump EPA reversed. Now it's up to the courts, and the states, to resolve the confusion and prevent future coal ash disasters.
ByJohnathan Hettinger/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency prepared to make label changes for the herbicide dicamba after it caused widespread crop damage, the agency depended on the herbicide’s maker for guidance, documents produced in a federal lawsuit show.
A review of more than 800 pages of documents from a lawsuit filed against the U.S. EPA in January 2017 highlight the process behind how the agency made the label changes.
The number of new concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) have increased across the U.S. over the past six years - bringing the total operations just under 20,000, according to data from the Environmental Protection Agency. From 2011 to 2017, the United States saw more than 1,400 new large-scale concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) established. That’s up 7.6 percent. Here's a look at the issue in maps and charts.