Summer Updates Newsletter

After sounding the alarm about the EPA’s plans to sunset its web archive, EDGI members sent an open letter to the EPA, co-signed by the Sierra Club and other groups, urging the agency to maintain this critical public resource. The EPA subsequently announced a year-long extension of the web archive.

EDGI’s Response to the EPA’s Announcement it Will Retain its Online Archive

Tuesday July 19, 2022, after recently announcing the planned sunsetting of portions of its online archive, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency updated their Web Archive website with an announcement that the archive in its entirety will remain online until at least July 2023. The EPA stated that they extended the timeline “to assess the use of archive content and to continue to analyze, inventory, and transition key content to our main website.” This comes after EDGI and other environmental groups sent an open letter to the agency, urging them to keep this critical public resource online.

What Went on in the Trump EPA? Announcing a New FOIA Archive

On July 27th at 1PM EST, Merlin Chowkwanyun of Toxic Docs, Chris Sellers of the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative, and Elena Saxonhouse of the Sierra Club will publicly debut a cache of internal documents from the Trump administration detailing what it did to hamper the efficacy of the Environmental Protection Agency. It’s the latest addition to a project we’re calling EDGIFOIA, an initiative of EDGI, Toxic Docs, Sierra Club, and other environmental and open government groups to pool documents from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests over the past few years into a single, easily searchable repository. The repository includes documents revealing behind-the-scenes maneuvering of Trump’s first EPA administrator, deliberations that led to the dismantling of the Clean Power Plan, and the many firms that took advantage of the agency’s receptiveness to industry.

EDGI’s Response to the Supreme Court ruling on West Virginia v. EPA

Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled to limit the power of the Environmental Protection Agency to carry out and enforce the Clean Air Act. In West Virginia v. EPA, it ruled that the defunct Obama Administration Clean Power Plan exceeded the powers granted by the act, arguing the agency lacked “comparative expertise” to determine how the law should be executed without clear legislation from Congress. The ruling invoked a new “major questions doctrine” that agencies lack the ability to determine “major questions” without “clear” statutory authority. The doctrine likely opens a wide array of regulatory actions–by the EPA and other federal agencies–up to legal challenge.