Hurricane Laura coverage: Data, resources and interview opportunities

Media Contacts
Josh Chetwynd

As Hurricane Laura bears down on the Gulf Coast, The Public Interest Network (which includes U.S. PIRG, Environment America, and state groups in Texas, where landfall is likely) is sharing information to help you cover the major environmental, health and consumer problems that Laura may cause.


Our most recent data and graphics from our think tank Frontier Group on potential dangers created by hurricanes — and the flooding that follows:

Data and graphics from Environment America:

New report about coastal water contamination, often as a result of sewage overflows.

Data and graphics from U.S. PIRG:

Consumer tip sheet 


The following experts are available for phone interviews or on camera via Zoom or other web options:

Coal ash sites, manure lagoons, fracking ponds, oil and gas pipelines, industrial toxic sites, Superfund sites and other water pollution:

John Rumpler, [email protected], directs Environment America’s work to protect clean water. He has co-authored several research reports, including Safe for Swimming? and Accidents Waiting to Happen: Toxic threats to our rivers, lakes and streams. John has also testified before Congress on water infrastructure funding and enforcement of clean water laws. His current efforts include preventing sewage overflows, defending the Clean Water Act, curbing pollution from factory farms, and working to “Get the Lead Out” of drinking water. He’s appeared on camera for CBS This Morning, among other outlets. He’s also been interviewed by such outlets as U.S. News and World Report, Bloomberg and WebMD.

Consumer protection concerns:

Teresa Murray, [email protected], recently took over U.S. PIRG’s Consumer Watchdog office, which looks out for consumers’ health, safety and financial security. Prior to her current role, she worked as a journalist and columnist covering consumer issues and personal finance for two decades for Ohio’s largest daily newspaper. She is the recipient of dozens of state and national journalism awards, including Best Columnist in Ohio, Best Business Writer in Ohio, and National Headliner Award for coverage of the 2008-09 financial crisis. 

Nuclear sites; and the connection between global warming and hurricanes:

Tony Dutzik, [email protected], is associate director and senior policy analyst with Frontier Group, a public policy think tank, where he has authored dozens of reports on a wide array of topics, including climate change. His work on nuclear power includes supervising the production of Too Close to Home, which highlighted the risk to drinking water supplies of a Fukushima-type accident in the United States, and contributing to Frontier Group’s response to the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011. A former journalist, Tony has been featured in reports by such media outlets as The New York Times, Financial Times and The Economist.

The connection between climate change and hurricanes:

Andrea McGimsey, [email protected], is the senior director of global warming solutions for Environment America. She directs our work to go fossil fuel free, promote carbon-free transportation, reduce power plant pollution, and more. She has co-authored several research reports, including Climate Solutions from Day One and From Pollution to Solutions. Her current efforts include defending the Clean Air Act and building bipartisan support for climate legislation in Congress. Andrea is a former local elected official in Loudoun County, Virginia, and she has appeared on camera for CBS News and other outlets. Andrea has conducted national radio tours on climate solutions and has been quoted frequently by The Washington Post and other print media.

Texas Impact:

Luke Metzger, [email protected], is the state director for Environment America’s affiliate Environment Texas. Luke has led successful campaigns to win permanent protection for the Christmas Mountains of Big Bend; to compel Exxon, Shell, Chevron Phillips and Petrobras to cut air pollution at four Texas refineries and chemical plants; and to boost funding for water conservation and state parks. He has extensive media experience. Along with appearing on-air for such TV and radio outlets as CNN, MSNBC and NPR, he’s been quoted widely in print on a variety of subjects by publications including The Guardian, The Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.