open water reservoir

The Great Divide

TOOLEVILLE, Calif. — An ongoing struggle between two communities less than a mile apart in one of the nation’s key farming regions is a microcosm that illustrates the challenges California faces as it tries to deliver clean, affordable drinking water to more than 1 million residents without access to what the state has called a …

Everglades algae bloom

Polluted by Politics

The state of Florida has passed laws and spent hundreds of millions of dollars on water treatment projects to try to reduce the phosphorus flowing into the lake. But it continues unabated, according to a review of state water-monitoring data by Weather.com and the Investigative Reporting Workshop.

JFK airport empty terminal

Chaos and confusion

Across the United States, state and local officials, frustrated by a lack of leadership in the White House and federal agencies, took steps on their own to prepare for the pandemic and protect their communities.

Rendering of hospital system

Boom and bust

Most hospitals — nonprofit, public and for-profit — operate on thin financial margins and have little to no budget for contingency preparations.

oil refinery

Anger over air quality

The American Lung Association ranks Bakersfield, Calif., as the most polluted city in the nation for average annual levels of dangerously high particle pollution. The city is second for short-term pollution spikes, a ranking Bakersfield has held in eight out of the last 10 reports.

decommissioned pumpjacks

Breathing problems

State regulators for more than a decade allowed a New Mexico refinery to delay fixing leaky equipment that was releasing toxic gases, including high levels of the carcinogen benzene.

Where does plastic go?

“Plastic Wars” looks at how the plastics industry has used recycling to help sell more plastic — and why the plastic waste problem has only grown.

Oil refinery on fire

The Refinery Disaster

In Philadelphia, an air monitor on the border of the East Coast’s largest oil refinery recorded a level of cancer-causing gas more than 21 times the federal limit.