Ed Smith: Policy Director 11-6-17
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a vital tool MCE uses to request documents from the federal government related to its activities and our environment. MCE has made several FOIA requests related to the radioactive West Lake Landfill Superfund site in St. Louis County over many years, specifically to the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). We are happy to announce the EPA has released over 17,000 pages of draft reports and correspondence with the financially responsible parties.
Sometimes our requests for documents are denied for various reasons allowed by law, including what is known as the deliberative process. Records can be denied to a person or organization making a FOIA request if the documents requested are drafts or are being used for a forthcoming decision. The EPA used the deliberative process in 2014 as justification for not releasing a National Remedy Review Board assessment of West Lake Landfill that MCE requested using FOIA. The agency ultimately released the document in 2016. That’s why we are pleased the EPA has released over 17,000 pages of draft reports and correspondence with the financially responsible parties. The draft reports include two versions of the Remedial Investigation and one version of the Feasibility Study. The correspondence gives us insight as to where the EPA and responsible parties agree and disagree.… Read the rest