by Bonner R. Cohen
Saying the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had shown “apathy and carelessness” in carrying out Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests from conservative organizations, a federal judge excoriated the agency for its handling of an open-records request from the Landmark Legal Foundation (LLF)…
LLF’s FOIA request was made in an attempt to obtain information on contacts EPA had with outside environmental groups when the agency was drafting regulations. A February 2014 Environment & Climate News article reported the Energy & Environment Legal Institute had obtained emails showing the Starbucks located in the J.W. Marriott Hotel near EPA’s Washington, DC headquarters served as a an “off campus” meeting place where EPA officials and environmental activists regularly met to plot strategy. By not meeting at EPA headquarters, the activists avoided signing in at the agency. Absent the FOIA request, their meetings would have remained secret.