The water crisis looms large in small California towns

Documentarians Casey Beck and Mary Cardaras created “The Great Divide,” the story of one community’s fight for clean water in California, the first state to declare clean water a human right. This film was produced in affiliation with the Investigative Reporting Workshop. The full story and additional maps and photos can be found here.

Men in cowboy hats outside Florida Capitol Complex

Legislative sleight of hand

While the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs has been regulating pollution running off farms, not a single enforcement action has been taken against a farmer or rancher. Here’s how they kept it that way.

Fetal photographs: precious keepsake or needless risk?

The Food and Drug Administration has repeatedly urged pregnant women to avoid medically unnecessary ultrasounds, saying it is aware of “several enterprises” in the U.S. that perform ultrasounds on pregnant women for entertainment’s sake and then sell the images as keepsake photographs and videos.

Power plant cooling towers

The slow-walking switch to clean energy

In January, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that most new electric power generation in 2020 would come from wind and solar. A few months and a national crisis later, renewable prospects are perhaps shining even brighter, as government projections show that for the first time renewable power is likely to produce more electricity than coal in 2020.

map of United States

COVID-19 map offers state, county views

Big Local News, Pitch Interactive and Google News Initiative have produced a map to help newsrooms and readers track the spread of coronavirus in the U.S.

Plastic bottles empty

Companies’ new pledges to boost recycling face old pitfalls

A review of corporate commitments by FRONTLINE has found that three major brand companies and an association of plastic bag makers — all of which have recently pledged to increase the recycled content of their plastic packaging and bags — have fallen short of ambitious recycling-related goals in the past.

recycling symbol

Recycling plastics not always an easy answer

Some materials are recycled at relatively high levels, but for plastic the rate is just eight percent. Another 16 percent is incinerated, and the remaining 76 percent ends up in landfills.