EPA might be withholding pollution data

September 12, 2005

The Society of Environmental Journalists says the U.S EPA is apparently withholding data on chemical pollution caused by Hurricane Katrina.

The SEJ said Monday it has been more than a week since the New Orleans Times-Picayune submitted a federal Freedom of Information Act request to determine what and how many dangerous chemicals have leaked into the environment as a result of Katrina?

The paper's lead hurricane reporter, Mark Schleifstein, said he has repeatedly asked for information from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, but his requests have been ignored.

The federal government's compliance with FOIA began to deteriorate in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to an SEJ report -- "A Flawed Tool -- Environmental Reporters' Experiences with the Freedom of Information Act" -- released Monday.

The organization says governmental excessive delays in releasing information are now common, with some FOIA requests taking more than a year to be answered. And even when requested documents are released, agencies frequently delete huge amounts of information.

The SEJ said several reporters, in addition to Schleifstein, are also seeking information from the EPA regarding dangerous chemical spills caused by Katrina.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Related Stories

Recommended for you

How bees naturally vaccinate their babies

July 31, 2015

When it comes to vaccinating their babies, bees don't have a choice—they naturally immunize their offspring against specific diseases found in their environments. And now for the first time, scientists have discovered how ...

Image: Hubble sees a dying star's final moments

July 31, 2015

A dying star's final moments are captured in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The death throes of this star may only last mere moments on a cosmological timescale, but this star's demise is still quite ...

Exoplanets 20/20: Looking back to the future

July 31, 2015

Geoff Marcy remembers the hair standing up on the back of his neck. Paul Butler remembers being dead tired. The two men had just made history: the first confirmation of a planet orbiting another star.

Earth flyby of 'space peanut' captured in new video

July 31, 2015

NASA scientists have used two giant, Earth-based radio telescopes to bounce radar signals off a passing asteroid and produce images of the peanut-shaped body as it approached close to Earth this past weekend.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.