Surge in information requests, hiring freeze puts pressure on overburdened FOIA offices

The Environment Protection Agency collected about 200 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests during the first week of the Trump administration, and more than 20 percent of them are about the new president, climate change and social media.

Larry Gottesman, director of the national FOIA program at EPA, said his agency receives about 12,000 requests per year. According to FOIAOnline, since the beginning of October, the start of fiscal 2017, the EPA has received roughly 3,200 requests.

Gottesman said the uptick is the result of a new administration, and that the FOIA requests his office is collecting range from well wishes of support to questions about the nomination of Rex Tillerson as the new Secretary of State.