"A pair of environmental groups representing public employees sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Thursday, claiming officials failed to adequately take and maintain public records in violation of federal law.
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a joint lawsuit against the EPA and Administrator Scott Pruitt for failing to keep records in accordance with the Federal Records Act (FRA).
The groups charge that the Trump administration operated in "secrecy" to avoid creating a paper trail of notes that would be considered public records under the FRA. Those notes would also be open to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests by the public and journalists.
"Under Scott Pruitt, the EPA has assumed a bunker mentality where paper trails are religiously avoided unless penned in invisible ink,” PEER counsel Adam Carlesco said in a statement. “By law, the American public has a right to know the basis for public health and anti-pollution decision-making that affects their lives.”"