News | August 23, 2017

SELC files public records lawsuit against EPA

SELC filed a federal lawsuit suit today against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its failure to comply with the Freedom of Information Act. EPA has failed to respond to SELC’s request for documents related to the agency’s “regulatory reform” effort, based on President Donald Trump’s unprecedented executive order requiring an evaluation of all regulations to identify recommendations for which ones to dismantle.

This challenge comes after months of back-and-forth with the EPA, which has failed to provide any information to the public on this process and did not meet its own extended deadline to get SELC the requested documents. Specifically, SELC requested information that would provide some transparency into the agency’s decision-making process for which protections are targeted for repeal.

It’s already absurd to have an arbitrary directive to strip away commonsense environmental protections, but to refuse to share any information about this process is alarming and simply unAmerican. President Trump and Scott Pruitt are creating a hit list of health, safety, and environmental protections, and they are doing this behind closed doors,” said Kym Hunter, staff attorney. “As the EPA works to eliminate basic protections as quickly as possible and continues its disturbing pattern of zero transparency or accountability, we will continue to demand the information Southerners have a right to access in order to fight back against policies that will harm the people and places they love.