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"A bipartisan group of senators is pushing back against the new public records policy at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), saying it may violate the law by giving political appointees the power to hold back requested information.
“The rule purports to make numerous changes to the EPA’s FOIA process that appear to run contrary to the letter and spirit of FOIA, thus undermining the American people’s right to access information from the EPA,” the senators wrote in a letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, referring to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
The new EPA policy, first first reported by The Hill, was announced late last month without any opportunity for public feedback.
Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) are asking the EPA to reconsider the policy and — at a bare minimum — give the public a chance to comment on it, rejecting the agency's assertion that such a process is unnecessary."
Rebecca Beitsch reports for The Hill July 22, 2019.
Senators' July 22 letter to Wheeler (Sen. Leahy)
"Senators in Both Parties Object to FOIA Changes at EPA" (Government Executive)