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February 26, 2018

Anti-secrecy lawsuits soaring against Pruitt's EPA
By Emily Holden

All told, plaintiffs have filed 55 public records lawsuits against EPA since Trump's inauguration, according to POLITICO's review of a database of cases compiled by The FOIA Project, an initiative run by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. Forty-six of those lawsuits came in 2017, making it the busiest calendar year by far for open-records cases brought against EPA, according to data stretching back to 1992. The second-busiest year was 2015, when plaintiffs filed 22 such suits against the agency as it was completing major rules on topics such as wetlands protection and power plants' carbon pollution. The federal government as a whole has seen a rise in lawsuits over public records during Trump's presidency, but not at anywhere near the rapid uptick EPA is experiencing. Former President George W. Bush's EPA hardly a darling of the environmental movement faced only 57 FOIA lawsuits during his entire presidency, according to the database's list of cases.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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