EPA to Allow Political Appointees to Block FOIA Document Disclosures

June 27, 2019 by Dan McCue
EPA to Allow Political Appointees to Block FOIA Document Disclosures
Andrew Wheeler at an EPA press conference last week announcing a nationwide plan to address PFAS in drinking water. PFAS water contamination has affected thousands in Bucks and Montgomery Counties.

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.

A+
a-
  • EPA
  • Federal Register
  • FOIA
  • Freedom of Information Act
  • In The News

    Health

    Voting

    May 17, 2024
    by Tom Ramstack
    Justice Dept. Plans Reclassification of Cannabis to Less Dangerous Drug

    WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Thursday announced a recommendation for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to relax restrictions on... Read More

    WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Thursday announced a recommendation for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to relax restrictions on cannabis. "This is monumental," Biden said in a video announcement. "Today, my administration took a major step to reclassify [cannabis] from a Schedule 1 drug to... Read More

    May 17, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    15 House Members Named Finalists for Extraordinary Public Service Awards

    WASHINGTON — Fifteen members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats, have been named finalists for a Democracy Award, an annual award... Read More

    WASHINGTON — Fifteen members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats, have been named finalists for a Democracy Award, an annual award bestowed by the Congressional Management Foundation to recognize excellence in constituent services by members and their offices. Founded in 1977, the nonpartisan Congressional Management Foundation is... Read More

    CNX Plans $1.5B Hydrogen Fuels Plant at Pittsburgh Airport, but Wants Federal Tax Credit to Build It

    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Natural gas producer CNX Resources said it plans to build a $1.5 billion facility at Pittsburgh's... Read More

    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Natural gas producer CNX Resources said it plans to build a $1.5 billion facility at Pittsburgh's airport to make hydrogen-based fuels, but only if President Joe Biden’s administration allows coal mine methane to qualify for tax credits that are central to the Democrat's plan... Read More

    After Blaming His 2020 Loss on Mail Balloting, Trump Tries to Make GOP Voters Believe It’s OK Now

    Marta Moehring voted the way she prefers in Nebraska's Republican primary Tuesday — in person, at her west Omaha polling... Read More

    Marta Moehring voted the way she prefers in Nebraska's Republican primary Tuesday — in person, at her west Omaha polling place. She didn’t even consider taking advantage of the state’s no-excuse mail-in ballot process. In fact, she would prefer to do away with mail-in voting altogether.... Read More

    GOP Advances Garland Contempt Charges After White House Exerts Executive Privilege Over Biden Audio

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Two House committees moved ahead Thursday with contempt charges against Attorney General Merrick Garland for refusing to turn over... Read More

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Two House committees moved ahead Thursday with contempt charges against Attorney General Merrick Garland for refusing to turn over audio from President Joe Biden’s interview with a special counsel, advancing the matter after the White House's decision to block the release of the recording earlier in... Read More

    Strengthening Kratom Regulation: A Model for Consumer Safety and Industry Integrity

    Kratom, a botanical substance from Southeast Asia with centuries of traditional use, has gained popularity in recent years for its... Read More

    Kratom, a botanical substance from Southeast Asia with centuries of traditional use, has gained popularity in recent years for its potential benefits, including relaxation and mood enhancement. However, alongside this surge in interest comes the need for robust regulation to ensure consumer safety and industry integrity. ... Read More

    News From The Well
    scroll top