Government

Open Agency? Who's Running EPA?

March 18, 2014 – EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has said she wants to run an open agency. So why do reporters have to wait days — or weeks — to talk to agency sources after they call the press office? As 300,000 residents of Charleston, WV, faced a drinking water crisis in January 2014, it took EPA a week to find an official who could talk to the Charleston Gazette. EPA is supposed to be the main federal agency responsible for enforcing the Safe Drinking Water Act.

House Passes Bipartisan FOIA Improvement Bill

Don't polish your glasses — you read it right. Bipartisan. By a vote of 410-0. The bill makes several modest improvements in the Freedom of Information Act; it should strengthen the presumption in favor of disclosure of government records, authorize a central tracking system for FOIA requests and strengthen the role of the Office of Government Information Services.

"Environmental Groups Resort to Suing Industries Directly"

"Starting Monday, a federal judge in Waco will hear arguments from the Sierra Club that Luminant Generation Company, the state’s largest electric generator, has been spewing far more pollution into the air from an East Texas coal plant than is allowed by federal and state law."

Source: NY Times, 02/24/2014

"Undermanned And Limited, Chemical Safety Board Confronts A Crisis"

"The lead federal agency investigating the West Virginia chemical leak is one that most Americans have probably never heard of. The Chemical Safety Board is an independent body, modeled after the National Transportation Safety Board, which investigates plane crashes and the like. But critics say that the Chemical Safety Board is understaffed, underfunded and takes too long to finish its investigations, and that its non-binding recommendations are often ignored anyway."

Source: NPR, 02/04/2014

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