Updated 2022 hurricane season coverage: Data, resources and interview opportunities

Media Contacts

WASHINGTON — Until the past two weeks, it had been a relatively calm hurricane season in the Atlantic, despite the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) prediction of an “above-normal 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season.” 

Now, Hurricane Fiona has ravaged Puerto Rico and Canada’s maritime provinces. In addition, Hurricane Ian appears likely to hit Florida this week, perhaps with historic force.

In response, The Public Interest Network (which includes PIRG, Environment America, Frontier Group and state groups in often-impacted states such as Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia) is re-releasing an updated version of its resource guide initially published in May 2022. It contains information to help contextualize the major environmental, health and consumer concerns posed by hurricanes making landfall.

Our most recent data and graphics on potential environmental, health and consumer dangers created by hurricanes — and the flooding that follows:

Report about Superfund sites.

Information about coal ash.

Information about fracking waste pits.

Information about animal waste lagoons.

Information about toxic waste facilities.

Information about oil trains and pipelines.

Information about nuclear power plants  in NC, SC, GA

Information about portable generator safety

Consumer tip sheet on how to protect yourself from the storm and con-artists  

The following experts are available to interview either over the phone or on camera:

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

John Rumpler, [email protected], runs Environment America’s clean water program. He directs our work to protect our rivers, lakes, streams and drinking water. He has co-authored several research reports, including Accidents Waiting to Happen: Toxic threats to our rivers, lakes and streams. John has also testified before Congress on enforcement of clean water laws. His current efforts include 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.

Superfund and other toxic waste facilities:

Emily Rogers, [email protected], is PIRG’s Zero Out Toxics advocate. She works to protect our health and the environment from toxic chemicals, overseeing PIRG’s programs to “Make Polluters Pay” to clean up toxic Superfund sites, protect public health from toxic chemicals in consumer products, and reduce the use of pesticides and other toxic public health threats. She has appeared on camera for NBC LX, among other outlets and has also been quoted by The Hill and Eat This, Not That!, among other outlets.

The connection between climate change and hurricanes:

Matt Casale, [email protected], is the director of PIRG’s environment campaigns. Matt oversees PIRG’s toxics, transportation and zero waste campaigns, and leads The Public Interest Network’s climate program to promote a cleaner, healthier future for all Americans. Matt works on campaigns to facilitate the shift away from fossil fuels across all sectors to mitigate the impacts of climate change, including increasingly active hurricane seasons.This spring, Matt was a featured expert on a panel and a tour at the Society of Environmental Journalists’ annual conference. Matt has been quoted on clean transportation and climate issues in many major publications, including the New York Times and Washington Post

Nuclear sites; and the connection between climate change and extreme weather:

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.

Energy resiliency/renewable energy:

Johanna Neumann, [email protected], is the senior director of Environment America’s Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy. Johanna oversees our work to set ambitious clean energy goals at the state and national level and make sure Americans understand the benefits that renewable sources of energy, especially solar and wind bring to our communities vs. the dangers of fossil fuels and nuclear power. Johanna has been quoted on clean energy issues in major publications including the Washington Post, The Hill and CNN, and last summer, she appeared in an NBC News package about solar power and battery storage keeping the lights on during storms. 

Consumer protection concerns:

Teresa Murray, [email protected] is director of PIRG’s Consumer Watchdog program. She has written or overseen reports and analyses on topics including price gouging during emergencies, toxic consumer products and scams targeting consumers. She’s passionate about educating people about predatory tactics they may face when they’re vulnerable. Prior to joining PIRG in 2020, Teresa worked as a business journalist and consumer columnist for more than 20 years for Ohio’s largest daily newspaper. Her work with PIRG has been featured by media outlets including CNN, NPR, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.


Carolinas Impact:

Katie Craig, [email protected], is the state director of NCPIRG, U.S. PIRG’s state affiliate. As a North Carolina native, Katie is no stranger to hurricane season and has seen the growing frequency and impacts of these storms in communities across the state. Katie oversees the organization’s statewide campaigns, research, communication and legislative advocacy efforts. Her work to eliminate single use plastics, protect consumers, and more has been featured in broadcast, web and print outlets across North Carolina.  

Florida Impact:

Bill Newton, [email protected], is the deputy director of the Florida Consumer Action Network, an affiliate of the Public Interest Network. Bill, who is based in the Tampa area, is an expert on insurance issues including life, homeowner’s, auto and insurance fraud. He’s testified multiple times to the Florida Legislature on insurance issues. He is on the board of the Consumer Federation of America. He has wide-ranging experience as a media spokesman and has been through two hurricanes and several tropical storms. 

Georgia Impact:

Jennette Gayer, [email protected], runs Environment America’s affiliate Environment Georgia. Jennette has led successful campaigns to designate the headwaters of the Conasauga River as Georgia’s first “outstanding national resource water,” expand parks along the Chattahoochee River and Jekyll Island State Park, and stop construction of three new coal-fired power plants in Georgia. She’s also an advocate for solar policies. She serves on the leadership team for the Georgia Water Coalition and is co-chair of the Georgia Solar Energy Association. She has extensive broadcast and print media experience.

Texas Impact:

Luke Metzger, [email protected], runs Environment America’s affiliate Environment Texas. He 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 state funding for water conservation and parks. This spring, Luke was a featured expert on three panels/tours at the Society of Environmental Journalists’ annual conference. He has extensive on-air experience, including appearances on CNN, MSNBC and NPR. He’s also been quoted widely by publications including the Guardian, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and New York Times.  

Virginia Impact:

Elly Boehmer, [email protected], is the state director for Environment America’s affiliate Environment Virginia. She works to promote clean air, clean water and special places in Virginia through direct advocacy and grassroots organizing. Elly has worked to defend federal and state climate policies, expand clean, renewable energy in Virginia and protect coastal resiliency. Elly has engaged the media around these and other issues in Virginia.