EPA to Allow Political Appointees to Block FOIA Document Disclosures
WASHINGTON – A new EPA rule published Wednesday in the Federal Register would allow political appointees to review and withhold documents requested by the public under the Freedom of Information Act.
The rule was signed by EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler on June 14 and takes effect July 26.
Wheeler’s endorsement was not preceded by a public comment period.
One has to read six pages into the rule to find out that Wheeler and at least 11 other political appointees will now “issue final determinations whether to release or withhold a record or a portion of a record on the basis of responsiveness or under one or more exemptions under the FOIA, and to issue ‘no records’ responses.”
Friday’s Federal Register notice supplements a previous rule change that said the administrator or his delegate would oversee FOIA requests.
The new rules specifies these designees can include deputy administrators, assistant administrators, deputy assistant administrators, regional administrators, deputy regional administrators, general counsel, deputy general counsels, regional counsels, deputy regional counsels and inspector general or those individuals’ delegates.
The rule also changes the process for filing FOIA requests. Under the new rule, requests must be sent to headquarters in Washington, which will then send them to regional offices.
“If a requester erroneously submits a FOIA request to an EPA program or regional office, the EPA will not consider the request received by the Agency, the notice says.
In The News
Notice: Undefined variable: pc_ID in /var/www/html/thewellnews/wp-content/themes/twentynineteen-child/template-parts/content/content-single.php on line 270
Notice: Undefined variable: primary_cat in /var/www/html/thewellnews/wp-content/themes/twentynineteen-child/template-parts/content/content-single.php on line 275
WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden on Thursday announced he’s struck an infrastructure deal with a bipartisan group of senators that will provide about $579 billion in new investments in broadband internet, roads, bridges and the electric grid. The deal’s overall price tag -- $973 billion over... Read More
WASHINGTON - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she is appointing a new select committee to investigate “the many questions” that still surround events leading up to the Jan. 6 siege of the Capitol and the federal response that day. In May, Senate Republicans filibustered legislation... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration has extended the nationwide ban on evictions for a month to help tenants who are unable to make rent payments during the coronavirus pandemic, but it said this is expected to be the last time it does so. Dr. Rochelle... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew at a solid 6.4% rate in the first three months of this year, setting the stage for what economists are forecasting could be the strongest year for the economy in possibly seven decades. The Commerce Department said Thursday that... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan group of senators is seeking President Joe Biden's support for a $953 billion infrastructure plan, raising hopes for a breakthrough agreement after arduous negotiations on his top legislative priority. Biden has invited members of the group of 21 senators, Republicans and... Read More
The National Guard is asking Congress to reimburse $521 million it says it spent in responding to the Jan. 6 siege on Capitol Hill and the extended protection it provided in the months that followed. Gen. Daniel Hohanson said during a Pentagon press conference on Wednesday... Read More