Ava Kofman

Reporter

Photo of Ava Kofman

Ava Kofman is a reporter on ProPublica’s national desk. She joined the newsroom in January 2019, after working as a contributing reporter at The Intercept, where she covered algorithms, artificial intelligence and surveillance technology. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s Magazine, The Atlantic, The Guardian, and The New Republic, among other publications.

Representatives Introduce $500 Million Air Quality Bill, Citing ProPublica’s Investigations

Lawmakers introduced a House bill to fund air monitoring after ProPublica highlighted pollution in its “Black Snow” and “Sacrifice Zones” investigations. The bill is nearly identical to one introduced in the Senate last summer.

EPA Takes Action to Combat Industrial Air Pollution

The EPA announced a raft of targeted actions and specific reforms including stepped-up air monitoring and scrutiny of industrial polluters in the wake of ProPublica’s investigation into toxic hot spots.

What’s Polluting the Air? Not Even the EPA Can Say.

Despite the high stakes for public health, the EPA relies on emissions data it knows to be inaccurate. To expose toxic hot spots, we first had to get the facts straight.

Veneno en el aire

La EPA permite a los contaminadores que conviertan barrios en “zonas de sacrificio” donde los residentes respiran carcinógenos. ProPublica revela dónde están esos lugares en un mapa, el primero de este tipo, y con análisis de datos.

They Knew Industrial Pollution Was Ruining the Neighborhood’s Air. If Only Regulators Had Listened.

Raw throats, burning eyes, strong acid smells. Air monitoring that showed chemicals linked to leukemia. Barbara Weckesser and her neighbors told regulators that air pollution was making them sick. The law let them ignore her.

The EPA Administrator Visited Cancer-Causing Air Pollution Hot Spots Highlighted by ProPublica and Promised Reforms

ProPublica found more than 1,000 toxic air hot spots across the country, and determined Black residents were disproportionately at risk. Environmental experts called the EPA’s response to our investigation historic and a “radical change in tone.”

¿Puede la contaminación del aire causar cáncer? Lo que usted tiene que saber sobre los riesgos.

Si usted vive cerca de ciertas instalaciones industriales, puede tener un riesgo estimado de cáncer más alto. Aquí hay respuestas a preguntas comunes, datos producto de una colaboración participativa y cómo compartir su experiencia.

How You Can Report on the Toxic Hot Spots Near You

A journalist’s guide for investigating cancer-causing air pollution from industrial facilities by using ProPublica’s original air toxics map and data.

Poison in the Air

The EPA allows polluters to turn neighborhoods into “sacrifice zones” where residents breathe carcinogens. ProPublica reveals where these places are in a first-of-its-kind map and data analysis.

Can Air Pollution Cause Cancer? What You Need to Know About the Risks.

If you live close to certain industrial facilities, you may have a higher estimated cancer risk. This may sound alarming. Here are answers to common questions, some crowdsourced tips and how to share your experience to help our investigation.

How We Created the Most Detailed Map Ever of Cancer-Causing Industrial Air Pollution

We analyzed billions of rows of EPA data to do something the agency had never done before: map the spread of cancer-causing industrial air emissions down to the neighborhood level.

The Broken Front Line

As the winter’s surge of coronavirus cases overwhelmed Los Angeles hospitals, EMTs like Michael Diaz were forced to take previously unthinkable measures. What lasting impact will the pandemic have on America’s first responders?

New Bill Proposes Stopping Unemployment Agencies That Make Mistakes From Demanding Money Back

State unemployment agencies have been demanding recipients repay thousands of dollars, even if the agency made the mistake and the money’s already been spent. After ProPublica investigated the practice, legislators are trying to end it.

“We Don’t Even Know Who Is Dead or Alive”: Trapped Inside an Assisted Living Facility During the Pandemic

What it’s like to stay alive as the virus charts its fatal course through a home for the elderly in one of the worst-hit neighborhoods in the Bronx.

He Made a Minor Mistake Filling Out an Unemployment Form. Then the State Demanded $14,990 From Him.

State unemployment agencies are discovering errors in payments affecting hundreds of thousands of jobless Americans. Even when the agencies made the original error, they’re taking aggressive steps to get the money back.

Black Workers Are More Likely to Be Unemployed but Less Likely to Get Unemployment Benefits

More people than ever became eligible for unemployment benefits after Congress included part-time and gig workers, but the data shows that hasn’t solved a huge racial disparity. Here’s why.

How North Carolina Transformed Itself Into the Worst State to Be Unemployed

Across the country, unemployment systems are collapsing under an unprecedented number of claims. But some state systems, like North Carolina’s, have long made it harder to receive unemployment benefits.

Substitute Pharmacists Warn Their Co-Workers: We’ll Probably Bring the Virus to You

With regular employees out sick, CVS and Walgreens rely on traveling workers to fill in at short notice. But when these floaters show up at a store, they often aren’t told if anyone there has tested positive.

Pharmacy Workers Are Coming Down With COVID-19. But They Can’t Afford to Stop Working.

As prescriptions surge, Walgreens and CVS employees say they need more protective gear, cleaning supplies and sick pay. “Someone will come into work sick and there’s nothing anyone can do about it,” a pharmacist says.

The Hate Store: Amazon’s Self-Publishing Arm Is a Haven for White Supremacists

The company gives extremists and neo-Nazis banned from other platforms unprecedented access to a mainstream audience — and even promotes their books.

Follow ProPublica

Latest Stories from ProPublica