The EPA gets even slower in answering FOIA requests (especially for ones about the boss)

FOIA Advisory Committee members meet during the final session of the 2016-2018 term.

In an attempt to stem its administrator's endless waves of scandals, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has instituted a time-consuming review process for all Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests that pertain to Scott Pruitt. The protracted reviews, environmental groups say, are causing illegal delays. According to emails between NRDC and EPA officials, which were then reported on by Politico, high-level “awareness reviews” have significantly slowed down FOIA response times, causing many organizations, including NRDC, to sue the agency in order to force the release of the documents. (The EPA has missed many deadlines for NRDC’s FOIA requests, prompting legal action.) Meanwhile, top aides chastised career EPA staffers who had responded to information requests on their own. The policy reflects Pruitt’s hyper-secretive management of his agency—especially as it relates to his personal goings-on. We can see why. Whether it’s sketchy condo deals, questionable flight expenseslobbyist-planned trips, or secret industry meetings, whenever info on Pruitt is released, it tends to look pretty bad.

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