Sept. 04, 2020
Best of the States
AP investigation: Thousands of environmental waivers granted amid pandemic
When the Trump administration waived enforcement of environmental protections because of the pandemic, a former EPA administrator called it a “license to pollute,” while public health officials told AP that it would be difficult to determine the impact.
At that, five AP reporters around the country embarked on a two-month, brute force effort to wrest loose state data on the suspended regulations.
They found more than 3,000 instances of environmental waivers to oil and gas companies, government facilities and other operations, with nationwide implications for public health.
For deep reporting and painstaking analysis to document the potential consequences of relaxed environmental regulation, the team of Knickmeyer, Bussewitz, Flesher, Brown and Casey wins this week’s Best of the States award.