Senator wants info on EPA chief's multiple email accounts

Submitted by YanqiXu on Wed, 04/18/2018 - 9:44am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican chairman of a Senate oversight committee is pressing the head of the Environmental Protection Agency to provide details about his use of multiple government email addresses.

Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman John Barrasso issued a letter asking EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to disclose all his email addresses and affirm that all were being searched in response to Freedom of Information Act requests.

EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox said Tuesday that the agency maintains two email addresses for Pruitt that are used by his staff for public correspondence and maintaining his calendar. A third is used by Pruitt himself. A fourth account was also created for Pruitt, but Wilcox said it had never been used.

"When we receive a FOIA request all accounts are searched before we respond," Wilcox said.

Barrasso's letter followed one sent last week by Democratic Sens. Jeff Merkey of Oregon and Tom Carper of Delaware asking EPA's inspector general to review the issue. The two Democrats, both members of the Senate environment committee, expressed concern that the agency's searches for public records may not cover all of the EPA administrator's accounts.

In his letter, Barrasso recounted that during confirmation hearings last year Pruitt had assured the senators he would not take any actions that would make it more difficult or impossible to access his official written communications under FOIA. Read more...