The Environmental Protection Agency has now heard from Senate Republicans on the Environment and Public Works Committee about the release of private personal and business information to environmental groups. In a letter to Acting EPA Administrator Bob Perciasepe – Committee Republicans said the inclusion of detailed information including the size of various cattle operations in several states, personal contact info and email addresses demonstrates a troubling disregard for the interests of both private citizens and competitive businesses. The EPA provided this information in response to a Freedom of Information request.
According to the Senate letter – FOIA is meant to inform people about what the government is doing – not private citizens. The Senators wrote that EPA’s current application of FOIA represents the antithesis of a transparent government and an offensive abuse of agency discretion. The Senate Republicans asked the EPA to brief the Environment Committee about the release of the data by no later than April 18th. They also asked for answers to several questions in writing by the 18th – including what the agency is doing to prevent similar releases of private information. Last month – nearly 40 members of the U.S. House made a similar demand that the EPA reassess its FOIA policy.
Source: NAFB News service