Most popular stories of 2020

Our 5 most read stories of 2020

Revisit the stories and words that most resonated with our readers.

It's always something of a mystery to see what most touches readers. Black food sovereignty, DuPont's pollution, fracking and horses—this year's most read stories from our newsroom reflect true diversity in the world of environmental health.


We were delighted to see that whether essay, straight science reporting, explainer piece, or investigative feature, our work can reach millions.

Don't miss out, see what others have been reading. Below are our top five most read stories from the past year.

1. We don't farm because it's trendy; we farm as resistance, for healing and sovereignty

For more than 150 years, from the rural South to northern cities, Black people have used farming to build self-determined communities and resist oppressive structures that tear them down.

2. A lasting legacy: DuPont, C8 contamination and the community of Parkersburg left to grapple with the consequences

"We all have stories of friends and family, neighbors, dying too young or being diagnosed with various medical problems"

3. Coronavirus, climate change, and the environment

A conversation on COVID-19 with the director of Harvard University's Center of Climate, Health and the Global Environment.

4. Fracking linked to rare birth defect in horses: Study

A new study has uncovered a link between fracking chemicals in farm water and a rare birth defect in horses—which researchers say could serve as a warning about fracking and human infant health.

5. Organic diets quickly reduce the amount of glyphosate in people’s bodies

A new study found levels of the widespread herbicide and its breakdown products reduced, on average, more than 70 percent in both adults and children after just six days of eating organic.

Banner photo: Tracy Danzey grew up in polluted Parkersburg, West Virginia. (Courtesy Seth Freeman Photography)

EPA plans release of new regulations for power plants next week

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is set to introduce a series of new regulations aimed at reducing pollutants from America's power plants as part of a comprehensive environmental strategy.

Jean Chemnick reports for E&E News.

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Senator Whitehouse & climate change

Senator Whitehouse puts climate change on budget committee’s agenda

For more than a decade, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse gave daily warnings about the mounting threat of climate change. Now he has a powerful new perch.
Amid LNG’s Gulf Coast expansion, community hopes to stand in its way
Coast Guard inspects Cameron LNG Facility in preparation for first LNG export in 2019. (Credit: Coast Guard News)

Amid LNG’s Gulf Coast expansion, community hopes to stand in its way

This 2-part series was co-produced by Environmental Health News and the journalism non-profit Economic Hardship Reporting Project. See part 1 here.Este ensayo también está disponible en español
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Water rights sales raise concerns in Arizona's small towns

Greenstone Resource Partners LLC sold water rights from Cibola, Arizona, to the Queen Creek suburb, sparking local fears and broader implications for water scarcity management.

Maanvi Singh reports for The Guardian.

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Internet data centers are driving the resurgence of coal power

Surging energy demands from a hub of global internet traffic are precipitating a shift back to coal power, impacting communities and energy policies across four states.

Antonio Olivo reports for The Washington Post.

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Tesla experiences significant layoffs amid slowing EV sales

Tesla's workforce faces a more than 10% reduction as the company navigates a dip in electric vehicle demand and stiffening market competition.

David Ferris reports for E&E News.

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Solomon Islands tribes generate income by selling carbon credits

In the Solomon Islands, Indigenous tribes are leveraging the lucrative carbon credit market to sustainably protect their ancient rainforests from logging while funneling vital income to their communities.

Jo Chandler reports for Yale E360.

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Fixing the flawed carbon offset market with a new approach to coal plant shutdowns
Credit: catazul/Pixabay

Fixing the flawed carbon offset market with a new approach to coal plant shutdowns

Amid growing scrutiny over the effectiveness of carbon offsets, a major philanthropic organization announces a groundbreaking plan to authenticate their impact by phasing out coal plants in Asia.

Evan Halper reports for The Washington Post.

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From our Newsroom
New EPA regulations mean a closer eye on the nation’s petrochemical hub

New EPA regulations mean a closer eye on the nation’s petrochemical hub

Houston’s fenceline communities welcome stricter federal rules on chemical plant emissions but worry about state compliance.

plastic composting

Bioplastics create a composting conundrum

Biodegradable food packaging is a step in the right direction, experts say, but when composted carries risks of microplastic and chemical contamination.

plastic treaty

Groups push Biden administration to take leadership role at upcoming plastic treaty talks

The US has taken a “middle of the road position” so far, environmental groups say.

chemical recycling Youngstown

Listen: Why communities in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia are fighting chemical recycling plants

EHN reporter Kristina Marusic discusses her new three-part series on the controversies surrounding chemical recycling.

chemical recycling

Latest chemical recycling plant closing spurs concern over the industry’s viability

Oregon’s Regenyx plant announced its closing in late February, with those involved calling it a success, despite never reaching planned capacity and millions of dollars lost.

plastic treaty

Everything you need to know for the fourth round of global plastic pollution treaty talks

Countries will meet this month in Ottawa to move forward on the historic treaty — but obstacles remain.

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