Max Blau

Max Blau covers health care, public health and the environment for ProPublica's South unit.

Blau was previously an independent journalist working with Georgia Health News as part of ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network, a collaboration that has investigated Georgia Power’s toxic waste disposal practices, racial disparities in COVID-19 deaths and a controversial loophole to fund nursing homes. His work has appeared in a variety of national publications, including the Atlantic, the New York Times, Politico magazine, Time the Washington Post, and Stat and Stateline, where he covered health care as a Southern correspondent. He also worked as a staff writer for CNN, Atlanta magazine and the Atlanta alt-weekly Creative Loafing. His story about a death-row doctor who built an empire from treating Georgia inmates won the SPJ Green Eyeshade Award for investigative reporting in 2020.

The Coal Plant Next Door

Near America’s largest coal-fired power plant, toxins are showing up in drinking water and people have fallen ill. Thousands of pages of internal documents show how one giant energy company plans to avoid the cleanup costs.

A Power Company’s Quiet Land-Buying Spree Could Shield It From Coal Ash Cleanup Costs

Georgia Power paid top dollar to buy land from residents living near waste sites at its power plants. Environmentalists fear it’s a tactic to forestall the cleanup bill from new regulations for coal ash.

He Wanted to Fix Rural America’s Broken Nursing Homes. Now, Taxpayers May Be on the Hook for $76 Million.

Ronnie Rollins used a controversial loophole to secure $300 million in bonus payments for his nonprofit nursing home chain. A federal investigation called the payments “inappropriate,” and Georgia is caught in a multimillion dollar dispute.

This Rural Nursing Home Has Lost Nearly a Quarter of Its Residents to COVID-19. Now Its State Is Reopening.

Of Georgia’s more than 1,100 virus deaths, 12% are from long-term care facilities in a region that holds just 3% of the population. As the state reopens, staff know that risks of exposure will only increase.

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