Surgey v. EPA

In January 2018, Nick Surgey, Co-Director of Documented and an investigative journalist, sent a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to the Environmental Protection Agency for records concerning EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s travel to and attendance of the 2018 Rose Bowl college football game. EPA failed to respond to the request for over two months. On March 22, 2018, Mr. Surgey, represented by Public Citizen Litigation Group, filed suit seeking disclosure of the requested records.

After Mr. Surgey filed suit, EPA produced some responsive records, withholding some records in part and other records in full under exemptions 6, 7(C), 7(E), and 7(F). On September 10, 2018, EPA filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that its search was adequate that its withholdings proper under FOIA. On November 9, 2018, Mr. Surgey filed his cross-motion for summary judgment arguing the EPA’s search was inadequate and challenging several of EPA’s withholdings. Briefing was completed in January 2019, and the case remains pending.