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Friday reading: the best investigative reporting on the Web

By Margaux Stack-Babich and Bill Dedman

Today's reading from the world of investigative reporting.

Story of the day: "Poisoned Places," a report by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, has found that "regulators in Maine and nearby states have taken months and even years to sanction facilities violating the Clean Air Act – even those the government itself has called high priority violators." Bureaucracy and lack of resources are blamed for the laborious pace of reform, but the environmental and health issues at stake continue to worsen for communities, not only in New England, but nationwide. "The EPA's own internal watchdog has expressed concern about the level of attention being paid to high priority violators. A 2009 report by the agency's inspector general found that 'in many instances EPA and States are not addressing high priority violations . . . in a timely manner,' thereby allowing 'continued emissions from facilities (that) may result in significant environmental and public health impacts, deterrence efforts being undermined, and unfair economic benefits being created.'"

Notes: Links open in a new window. More reading: previous daily collections.

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Margaux Stack-Babich writes about investigative reporting for msnbc.com. Bill Dedman is an investigative reporter for msnbc.com.