Purpose for the FOIA Request to the EPA
Newspapers (real ones), citizens groups and even individuals routinely issue FOIA requests to all branches of government. The rules by which the information is supposed to be released are well documented in the federal statutes.
Extra emphasis on the citizens right to know via the FOIA mechanism was recently demonstrated by Attorney General Eric Holder's March 19, 2009 memorandum to the head of all federal agencies (which includes the EPA). In that directive, Attorney General Holder made it quite clear that federal agencies are to err on the side of openness and the citizens right to know when responding to FOIA requests.
The EPA's refusal was appealed. The appellate decision was handed down just last month (see blog posting below). Any objective person reading that decision will learn that:
- The EPA did find there was contamination of Marco Island
- The EPA criminal division did investigate the contamination of Marco Island
- The EPA did find the parties responsible for the contamination of Marco Island
We ague that the citizens right to know the extent of the contamination and the extent of the remediation of that contamination (if any) far outweighs the "embarrassment" of those responsible.
We will see if our argument prevails.
Those who disagree with the right of the citizens seeking information from their government don't understand their form of government. Those besmirching the citizens exercising their FOIA rights have something to hide.
One would think that the City and its apologists would rejoice at this Don Quixotesque endeavour. For if the City and its apologists are certain that nothing bad occurred, that there was no contamination, that the City's "investigation" was genuine, then why get upset over a FOIA request? It will reveal nothing, right?
Or, are the predictable exposures by the "paper" of those its manipulators don't like, threats, hoary racial tropes, denigration, false denials and intimidation being made because there is something that is best kept buried?