On Sept. 30, FOIAonline will stop accepting new FOIA applications and begin the process of shutting down. We spoke to the federal government and FOIA experts about alternative options for requestors, including a new federal ‘FOIA Wizard’ in the works.
Release Notes: A new way to upload documents from your MuckRock requests to DocumentCloud, new OCR tools and Python wrapper improvements
The DocumentCloud team is pleased to introduce a new way to upload responsive documents from your MuckRock requests directly to DocumentCloud, three powerful new OCR tools and several enhancements to our Python wrapper for the DocumentCloud API. These updates will help you upload documents more efficiently and provide better error tracking.
Need inspiration when coming up with public records ideas? Wish you knew which other requesters were interested in the same agencies, government initiatives or subject matter? Starting today, you have a new tool: MuckRock’s FOIA Log Explorer.
MuckRock and the Cicero Independiente hosted “The Air We Breathe” event in Cicero, outside Chicago, to share our initial findings on the town’s air pollution with the community.
‘Atomic Fallout’: Records reveal government downplayed, ignored health risks of St. Louis radioactive waste for decades
The Missouri Independent, MuckRock and The Associated Press spent months combing through thousands of pages of previously-unreleased government records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act that show radioactive waste was known to pose a threat to people living near Coldwater Creek as early as 1949. But federal officials repeatedly wrote potential risks off as ‘slight,’ ‘minimal’ or ‘low-level.’
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Chicago’s air quality is among the worst in the U.S., and the city has several local hotspots for particulate matter 2.5 — the tiny particles that come from diesel trucks and industry and enter people’s lungs and blood, causing significant health problems. Between April 2021 and March 2023, the tech company Microsoft installed and monitored 115 air quality sensors across Chicago. We worked with Chicago newsrooms, including the Cicero Independiente, WBEZ and the Chicago Sun-Times, to analyze this data for a series of stories on the city’s comparatively poor air quality. We then installed our own air quality sensors in Chicago neighborhoods that lacked coverage in the Microsoft network — and looked for trends and spikes in pollution.