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Bureau of Land Management looks to limit the number of FOIA requests organizations can file with the agency

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If the BLM would raise the livestock grazing fees, even just a little bit, they’d have plenty of money to be transparent. Also, there is little that can possibly “slow down the agency’s decision-making process” since it remains in the dark ages.

Source: muckrock.com

“Media requests only make up a fraction of the total requests agencies receive, but the new policy setting an organizational “cap” on requests could severely hamper the work of journalists – and concerned citizens – trying to use FOIA for its intended purpose.”

Recommendations appear to target media requests, and raise the cost of already prohibitive processing fees

Written by JPat Brown
Edited by Michael Morisy

According to records obtained by the Washington Post, the Bureau of Land Management is recommending new legislation that would limit the number of FOIA requests individuals and agencies could file with the agency, create stricter criteria for fee waivers, as well as increased fees for “search and redaction.”

For justification, BLM cites the agency’s limited resources, which in turn causes requests to “slow down the agency’s decision-making process.” In Financial Year 2016, the report states, the agency’s FOIA work cost $2.8 million, which was approximately .2 percent of the agency’s total budget of $1.3 billion that year.

As has been written about before, the vast majority of FOIA requests are by commercial entities. For some agencies, the percentage of commercial requests are as high as 95 percent.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

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OSHA Drops Fatality Data, Science Suppression Tracker and More

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SEJ WatchDog is a very interesting website, and I encourage you to read their articles. – Debbie

Source:  Society of Environmental Journalists

By Joseph A. Davis, WatchDog TipSheet Editor

1. OSHA Deep-Sixes On-the-Job Fatality Data

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration used to publish on its website a list of U.S. workers who died on the job. No more. Within days of a new Trump pick taking top office in August, much of it was gone.

OSHA fatality statistics matter to environmental reporters because the deaths sometimes result from exposure to toxic substances or other environmental hazards. For example, the toxic solvent methylene chloride is subject to EPA’s risk assessment program. It has also killed workers who use it.

During the Obama administration, OSHA published the fullest possible list of worker fatalities and related data. In August 2017, shortly after the Trump administration installed Loren Sweatt on a political appointment to a top leadership slot, OSHA started cutting back the worker fatality information it automatically published. That cutback had been requested by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Under the Trump data regime, workplace fatalities are listed only if the incident resulted in a citation (which causes a listing delay of about six months) and the workers’ names are not included. Moreover, OSHA only lists fatalities in states where OSHA oversees workplace safety (about half of the states do this for themselves). OSHA publishes the more limited listing of worker fatality information in a less prominent place on its website.

OSHA under Trump has also cut way back on issuing press releases noting OSHA enforcement actions.

Read the entire article HERE.

Wild Horse Freedom Federation’s White Paper offers new evidence on BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Program never seen by Congress or the public

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photo by Carol Walker

by Debbie Coffey, V.P. and Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Wild Horse Freedom Federation issued a White Paper that has taken years of research, and offers new evidence on the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse & Burro Program that has never been seen by Congress or the public.

The Secretary of the Department of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, wants to cut the fat from the 2018 Budget by killing up to 46,000 wild horses and burros in BLM holding facilities due to “costs,” and to kill many thousands more on public lands because of a supposed “excess.”

However, Wild Horse Freedom Federation has done on-the-ground investigations of many BLM Long Term Holding facilities, with photos, videos and other evidence, proving that less than half of the horses that the BLM contractors, and the BLM, claimed were on long term holding facilities, were actually there.

One long term holding “pasture” contained a residential development. More

TS Radio: Whistleblowers! Tom Divine & The Whistleblowers Protection Act

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painyJoin us September 1, 2016 at 7:00 pm CST!

WB15:00 pm PST … 6:00 pm MST … 7:00 pm CST … 8:00 pm EST

Listen Live HERE!

Call in # 917-388-4520

Hosted by Marti Oakley

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

whistleWhistleblowers! is presented in coordination with Marcel Reid and the Whistleblowers Summit in Washington D.C.

An upcoming appeals case may seriously threaten whistleblower protections.  Already retaliated against, threatened, harassed and intimidated regardless of the laws protecting them, whistleblowers may be in more danger than ever depending on how this appeals case turns out.

Our Guest:     Tom Devine is co-founder and legal director of the Government Accountability Project. Since 1979, Tom has assisted over 7,000 whistleblowers in defending themselves against retaliation and in making real differences on behalf of the public. In 2015 he won the first U.S. Supreme Court test of the Whistleblower Protection Act. Tom has been a leader in the campaigns to pass or defend 33 major national or international whistleblower laws. Tom has authored numerous books, including The Corporate Whistleblower’s Survival Guide: A Handbook for Committing the Truth, which won the 2011 Frankfurt Book Fair “International Business Book of the Year” award. Tom has been selected as one of Washington DC’s top employment lawyers for the last seven years by Washingtonian magazine.

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