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SPJ joins groups urging EPA to continue running notices in newspapers



March 2, 2016

Paul Fletcher, SPJ National President, 804-873-1893,
Jennifer Royer, SPJ Communications Strategist, 317-361-4134,

INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists agrees with 43 other journalism organizations urging the Environmental Protection Agency to continue publicizing Clean Air Act permits through public newspaper notices.

On Dec. 29, EPA announced its intention to reduce the public notice it currently provides and instead post notices on a government website only. The EPA currently is required to run notices in local newspapers near the potential source of pollution the EPA is planning to approve.

Public Notice Resource Center and the associations representing newspapers and journalists across the country, filed comments urging the EPA not to deprive the public of newspaper notices.

“Keeping these notices in local newspapers helps to ensure that the civically engaged readers and those who are most likely to be personally impacted by these types of activities receive the information earlier rather than later,” said SPJ National President Paul Fletcher. “To change this practice – one that has been in effect for more than 200 years – is bad for the American general public.”

Bradley L. Thompson II, president of PNRC, said EPA’s plans to post notices on its website isn’t sufficiently transparent. “It is especially unfortunate when pollsters tell us people are suspicious of Washington. Keeping these notices in places where readers will find them is a good way to combat public cynicism.”

The EPA based its proposal on the mistaken assumption that citizens affirmatively seek public notices and will regularly visit its website to learn about its plans, PNRC noted.

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. For more information about SPJ, please visit


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