MIAMI, Florida -- The Society of Environmental Journalists honored Oklahoma Impact Team reporter Jennifer Loren and photojournalist Michael Woods at the group's annual conference in Miami, Florida, last weekend.
The story "Oklahoma's Dirty Secret" won second place in a national contest for Best Single Story. First place went to a team of journalists from PBS Newshour who traveled to the Middle East to cover water resources.
"Oklahoma's Dirty Secret" documents a massive coal combustion waste (fly ash) dump site in Bokoshe, Oklahoma, and the state's failure to properly regulate it. The story also uncovers the vulnerability of other sites where fly ash is being dumped in the state.
From the judges: "Vivid portrait of local health concerns over air and water contamination flowing from mountainous, poorly regulated, fly ash waste disposal sites. Solid local TV story placed the local problem in a national context through coverage of the EPA regulatory hearing on possible reclassification of fly ash as a hazardous substance. The Broadcast package is supported by an online presentation of longer interviews."