Center for Food Safety Sues Army Corps of Engineers for FOIA Violations

The Center for Food Safety (CFS), a nonprofit environmental advocacy and public interest organization, filed a complaint against the United States Army Corps of Engineers, alleging the defendant violates the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by withholding information regarding their approval of a nationwide permit (NWP). Nationwide Permit 56, the permit in question, is for allowing structures in marine and estuarine waters for finfish aquaculture.

Meredith Stevenson, staff attorney at Center for Food Safety, said “It’s time now for the Corps to provide some transparency to the public regarding the first ever nationwide permit for finfish aquaculture in federal waters. Despite the short time span identified in the request, the Corps still has not produced any records,” in a press release.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff submitted a request for documentation regarding NWP 56 to the defendant under the FOIA; however, six weeks passed since the request, and the defendant has not provided the requested documentation to the plaintiff nor provided an estimated documentation release date.

The plaintiff seeks the following for relief: an order for the defendant to provide a determination on the plaintiff’s FOIA request as well as locate all the records pertaining to the plaintiff’s request, several declarations involving the defendant’s failure to communicate and provide the plaintiff with the requested documentation, and an award of costs.

The plaintiff is represented by in-house counsel.