So here it is, the paragraph correcting my error in Sunday's preview of what is anticipated to happen this week at the contested case hearing on Hyperion Refining's preconstruction air quality air permit application. The hearing is set to re-convene Tuesday in Pierre before the DENR's Board of Minerals and Environment. That's the board that will grant, or not grant, the required permit for the proposed oil refinery/energy center:The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources has not made changes to the air-quality permit being sought by Hyperion Refining since the start of a contested case hearing in May and did not meet with a Hyperion consultant earlier this month. The meeting took place June 14-15, 2008. A story headlned "Battle Over Hyperion Air Permit to Resume" on Page A1 of the Journal's June 21 edition contained incorrect information. It has already been posted on-line and will appear in Tuesday's printed paper.
My error was, as all errors put into print, professionally embarrassing to me, but further illustrates why the daily paper is often called the first draft of history. Reporters make mistakes, sources make mistakes, sometimes sources even mislead reporters on purpose. (Most journalists have built-in radar for the latter and those "plants" don't get into print. In fact they often raise more interesting questions and our antennae go up pointed in a new direction. )
I want to assure our Hyperion blog readers on all sides of the issue that no "plant" was made by any of the parties involved. I goofed up all on my own. Here's how:
I was working on deadline and getting the main sources I needed quite late in the day when I discovered on the DENR Web site a dated informatiion sheet about the meeting briefly mentioned in my long story. The sheet was captioned "July 14-15 Meeting with Hyperion's Air Quality Consultant" and laid out some bullet-pointed particulars of the consultant's meeting with Colin Campbell of the DENR.
In my rush I got to thinking it had been a June meeting I had been unaware of and used the chance of the preview to get it on the record. The fact that the sheet displayed no year for that July date didn't help. (It was 2008.) But, duh, I slipped up on the month.
That's the mundane story behind the error.