WASHINGTON (CN) – Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility claims the Department of the Interior is hiding records on how the federal government came up with a “scientific estimate of the rate of oil leaking from the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout.” The group claims the U.S. Geological Survey released some “partially responsive” documents, but “there remain hundreds of responsive documents which the agency has not yet provided.”
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) claims the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Flow Rate Technical Group worked together to estimate the leak rate.
In its federal complaint PEER says that on July 6 it submitted a FOIA request for “emails, notes and minutes of conferences and conference calls,” and “reports containing estimates of the maximum oil leak rate from the Deepwater Horizon blowout.”
A week later the government responded by referring PEER to “a number of websites with publicly available information concerning the oil spill.”
But those sites did not contain the information PEER wanted, even after the Geological Survey’s FOIA officer “posted 19 additional documents to its electronic reading room.”
“While these documents are partially responsive, there remain hundreds of documents which the agency has not yet provided to plaintiff or claimed an exemption for withholding,” the group says.
PEER wants the Department of Interior and the U.S. Geological Survey ordered to release the records. It is represented by its house attorney, Paula Dinerstein.