EPA still answering Obama-era info requests

WASHINGTON — Three former aides to Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt confirmed to congressional investigators that the EPA delayed producing emails and other government documents sought by members of the public through public records requests by choosing instead to respond to old petitions made during the Obama administration first.

The so-called “first in, first out” tactic for requests made through the Freedom of Information Act is yet another example of the EPA restricting what records make their way into the public eye since Pruitt has taken office. That public records policy was described in a letter sent Monday to Pruitt by Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, which requested documents from the administrator.

That committee’s investigation into Pruitt is just one of at least a dozen federal inquiries the EPA chief is facing over his questionable spending and management decisions at the agency.

His tenure has also drawn the scrutiny of journalists, environmentalists and other members of the public who have filed thousands of FOIA requests with the EPA since Pruitt has taken office and attempted to unravel environmental rules put in place by the previous administration. Read more…