industrial plants with smoke

An aquifer at ‘special risk’

The Southern Hills aquifer’s water is clean and pure. Baton Rouge residents brag about its taste. And industries prefer it because it’s cheaper to access than river water, which needs expensive treatment. But the aquifer is being depleted faster than it is being replenished.

man in field next to pipe spewing water

The price? Free, while it lasts

A centuries-old law gives Louisiana landowners “ultimate dominion” over the groundwater beneath their property. That means farmers, manufacturers and homeowners can take as much as they want, when they want it — no fees required.

The water problems

Groundwater levels in and around Louisiana are falling faster than almost anywhere else in the country, according to USGS data and an investigation by IRW and WWNO/WRKF.

empty hallway with walker

Industry lobbying left nursing home patients at risk

The long-term care industry has long used its political influence to push against reforms that would have increased staffing requirements, training, transparency and oversight. Now the industry is pushing for legislation to shield nursing home owners from lawsuits during the pandemic.

Table with burned papers

From fire to prison

East Texas bank president stole $11 million with fake loans — one of the biggest frauds in Texas history. Now she and the bank’s former vice-president are going to prison.

water pouring out of pipe

The water stories

The stories IRW published in 2020 on water problems in Florida and California  illuminate some of the many water issues prevalent in the country today.

Freight cars sitting on tracks

Life in the Toxic Zones

The Investigative Reporting Workshop, in partnership with E&E News and NBC News, set out in 2020 to examine the health of people living in the shadows of U.S. oil refineries.

Pollution, poverty and pandemic collide

In a segregated community outside of an Alabama oil refinery, chronic illness tells a story of racial inequality, poverty and disease as U.S. deaths from COVID-19 surpass 300,000.

Protests in Miami, Florida

Swept up by police

Protesters arrested after the May 25 death of George Floyd were a diverse, young group of people who demonstrated close to home and were charged largely with nonviolent crimes, according to a Washington Post review of data on more than 2,600 people detained in 15 cities.

Protestors march with signs in near the White House

Police stockpile ‘less-lethal’ munitions

After two nights of chaotic protests near the White House, D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department found its supply of rubber ball grenades, high-impact sponge rounds, long-range tear-gas projectiles, and pepper spray nearly depleted. The shortage did not last long.