Sapien wins award for natural gas impact coverage


An investigation into the environmental impact of natural gas drilling, conducted by AHCJ member Joaquin Sapien and his ProPublica colleagues Abrahm Lustgarten and Sabrina Shankman, earned a second place, print, Kevin Carmody Award for Outstanding Investigative Reporting in the Society of Environmental Journalists’ Awards for Reporting on the Environment.


Photo by arimoore via Flickr

In its announcement of the award, SEJ cited four particular entries in the extensive series (64 parts!), including Sapien’s “With Natural Gas Drilling Boom, Pennsylvania Faces an Onslaught of Wastewater.”

This exhaustive ProPublica series into the environmental impact of natural gas drilling on water resources raised public awareness of an important, but largely overlooked, environmental issue and helped to spur politicians to action. The methodical and well-written stories were easily understandable, neatly melding the human experience with the investigative paper chase. Importantly, the series exposed not just problems, but also pointed to solutions.

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Andrew Van Dam