"First the IRS, and now the EPA - these hard drive crashes seem to be a growing epidemic throughout the Administration," said Vitter. "This ‘dog ate my homework' excuse is getting ridiculous. The EPA's inability to meet basic transparency and accountability standards is unacceptable, and the Administration cannot keep using technology failures as an excuse to hide their far-left agenda."
In their letter to David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, the Senators note, "In light of the current Administration's pattern of claiming that important records responsive to Congressional and public inquiries have been destroyed, we request your help with informing our understanding of options for ensuring records retention along with suggestions to strengthen transparency laws....Given our shared interest in preserving such records, we hope to work with you to ensure EPA recovers all lost information and to improve agency compliance with these key transparency laws."
The lost records noted in today's letter belonged to former EPA employee, Phil North, and would have been responsive to EPW requests for information on the Pebble Mine project. In July 2013, EPW Republicans sent a letter to EPA Senior Policy Advisor Ken Kopocis, regarding the agency's work on the Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment. In February 2013, Sens. Vitter and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) sent a letter to then-acting EPA Administrator Bob Perciasepe, asking him to disclose the agency's justification of preemptively vetoing the Pebble Mine project.
In September 2013, EPW Republicans released a comprehensive report entitled, "A Call for Sunshine: EPA's FOIA and Federal Records Failures Uncovered," which provides a detailed accounting of EPA's inappropriate email practices.
Signing today's letter include Sens. Vitter, Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), John Boozman (R-Ark.), and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.).