Judge: EPA may have tried to skirt information law

August 15, 2013 by Frederic J. Frommer

A federal judge says the Environmental Protection Agency's use of secret email accounts may have been aimed at skirting public disclosure requirements.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth ruled that the Landmark Legal Foundation, a conservative public interest law firm, can question and obtain records from EPA officials as part of the firm's Freedom of Information lawsuit against the federal agency.

Lamberth said the foundation can seek the information to determine whether top EPA officials used personal email accounts to conduct official business—and whether the agency initially excluded those accounts from Landmark's Freedom of Information request.

In the lawsuit last year, the foundation asked for any records that indicated EPA was delaying the announcement of new environmental regulations until after last year's presidential election.

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