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Energy and Environment

Reporting to expose injustice in producing energy and protecting our environment.

Ocean acidification threatens Massachusetts shellfish industry

One of the bright spots in the state’s struggling fishing industry is shellfish, a lucrative crop of oysters, clams and sea scallops that generate...

Green groups oppose Massachusetts takeover of more water oversight

Why does Gov. Charlie Baker, who has proposed further cuts in environmental spending, want the state to take on even more water oversight from the federal government?

Years of budget cuts disarm Massachusetts in environmental fight

Massachusetts has made deep cuts to environmental agency budgets in recent years, leaving many state parks unstaffed and much of its surface water untested for bacteria.

Mass. public may be unaware of striped bass contaminants

Massachusetts is the only state on the East Coast that does not specifically mention striped bass in its fish consumption advisories. While some states issue broad blanket advisories, especially for pregnant women and children, others offer warnings not to eat too much of striped bass from specific water bodies.

Loopholes in national railroad policy take communities by surprise

Around the country, in towns as small as Grafton and as large as Philadelphia and Chicago, communities are beginning to ask the same question as the domestic energy boom makes the expansion of railway infrastructure — to host trains carrying crude oil, propane and ethanol — a profitable venture indeed.

When FEMA fails: Agency policies wreak havoc on the fire- and...

A close examination reveals policies that discourage upgrades to help structures withstand larger floods; favor flood control using pipes and pumps, instead of systems that mimic nature; or provide aid to communities damaged by floods after wildfires only if each flood has been declared a national disaster.

Compounding tragedy, FEMA fails to adapt to climate change

Despite the agency’s attempts to account for bigger storms, its outdated rules leave communities unprepared for disaster.

Photo essay: Mercury in Massachusetts lakes

View photos from our recent investigation into the stubbornly high levels of mercury in Massachusetts lakes — and fish that wind up on dinner tables across the commonwealth.

Mercury emissions down but mercury in Massachusetts fish remains high

Mercury emissions from major Massachusetts sources have declined by 90 percent over the past two decades, but mercury levels in the state’s freshwater fish hold stubbornly high, with many species too contaminated for pregnant women and children to eat. Meanwhile, languid summer days and the lure of Massachusetts’ 3,000 freshwater bodies – from the Berkshire's Lake Pontoosuc to Boston's Jamaica Pond – send many anglers casting for a good fish dinner.

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