With the holidays upon us, requesters everywhere are making a list of the documents they hope to find in their stocking this year. But not everyone is in the mood for transparency cheer, with allegations that some top officials are pulling a Grinch when it comes to handing out the documents the public is owed.
President Trump famously and frequently attempts to undermine trust in reporting on his administration with accusations of “fake news.” It’s a practice that has trickled down through his agencies, with cabinet members and public affairs officials attempting to portray unfavorable stories as fake or biased. The solution? File more FOIA requests!
Smart FOIA requests recently have shown how a government immigration complaint database has channelled fear and paranoia, helped a reporter see which journalists and activists get under a politician’s skin, and helped dig into how Trump officials are spending their time. Plus a new audit finds mix news out of Illinois.
These days the Hanford Nuclear Reservation has the dubious distinction of being the “most contaminated place in America,” with about 53 million gallons of toxic waste stored at the sprawling 586 square mile facility. While the recent tunnel collapse is the most severe incident yet at the site, inspection reports released by the Environmental Protection Agency through FOIA reveal a history of slow-burning decrepitude at the nuclear waste dump.
Last week, Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, traveled to Sycamore, Pennsylvania and, speaking before the coal miners at Harvey Mine, announced that the EPA would be advancing a “Back-to-Basics” agenda in the new administration. But what does that really mean?