FOIA Advisor

FOIA News: D.C. Circuit clarifies tension between Exemption 4 and Clean Air Act

FOIA News (2017)Ryan MulveyComment

A copy of the D.C. Circuit opinion discussed in the article below is available here.

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To Disclose or Not to Disclose? D.C. Circuit Resolves Clash Between FOIA's Exemption 4 and Section 308 of the Clean Water Act

Anthony R. Holtzman, Nat'l  Law Review, June 15, 2017

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit recently issued a significant decision addressing the interplay between a confidentiality provision in the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), known as “Exemption 4,” and a conflicting public disclosure provision in Section 308 of the Clean Water Act.  The opinion reveals that, in some instances, federal agencies may rely on Exemption 4 to refrain from publicly disclosing confidential commercial and financial information that they received from regulated entities, even though it appears that, under a provision in another statute, they are required to disclose the information.

Read more here.