The environmental reporting award went to Abrahm Lustgarten, of ProPublica, the investigative news group, for articles exploring potentially carcinogenic effects of hydraulic fracturing — drilling for natural gas with a pulverizing mix of water and sand. His articles identified patterns of contamination at sites in five states and raised questions about the science and safety of the drilling method.
Established in 1949, the Polk Awards are administered by Long Island University. Faculty members and alumni select winners from entries submitted by journalists, news organizations and a panel of editors, reporters and journalism teachers. The awards will be presented at a luncheon on April 8 at the Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan.