by Sean Reilly
E&E reporter

U.S. EPA has rebuffed a request for the confidential financial disclosure reports of an air quality advisory panel, saying they are exempt from release under the Freedom of Information Act on personal privacy grounds.

Steve Milloy, a Washington, D.C.-area attorney, had sought the records for all 26 members of the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee Particulate Matter Review Panel in March, according to an online post yesterday on his blog After EPA initially rejected the request, Milloy said he appealed, only to again be turned down by an agency attorney…

Milloy…is also representing the Energy & Environmental Legal Institute, a D.C. nonprofit group, in a lawsuit filed last month seeking to dissolve and then reconstitute the panel on the grounds that most of its members have received EPA research grants. As a result, the suit alleges, they will be d”inappropriately influenced” by the agency’s view that fine particles warrant stricter regulation “despite considerable scientific evidence to the contrary” (Greenwire, May 17).

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