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Event: Separating Facts from Fake News: Environmental FOIA in the Trump Era

October 17, 2018


Saturday, November 3rd

9:00 am – 5:00 pm

CUNY School of Law
2 Court Square, Long Island City, NY 11101

When Sarah Lamdan wrote the book Environmental Information: Research, Access, and Environmental Decisionmaking in 2016, she did not know that access to environmental information was about to change dramatically with the election of Donald Trump. By early 2017, hundreds of scientists and information specialists were rushing to preserve troves of government climate change data in Data Rescue events across the nation. Cries of “fake news” blurred the lines between scientific truths and fiction in the new, uncertain political climate.

As data disappeared from EPA webpages, a shroud of secrecy hid federal environmental policy from the public. Congress and the EPA proposed plans to eliminate scientific data from environmental decisionmaking. The EPA itself began to shrink, with 1,600 workers leaving the agency in the first 18 months of Trump’s presidency.

Environmental advocates, government transparency organizations, and members of the public turned to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to wrest undisclosed environmental information from a federal government set on intensive environmental deregulation. FOIA requests and litigation have skyrocketed in the Trump era as people try to capture glimpses of what our environmental agencies are up to.

CUNY Law Professor Sarah Lamdan has teamed up with Dale Willman, from CUNY’s Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, and Rebecca Bratspies, director of CUNY Law’s Center for Urban and Environmental Reform, to plan a day-long event at CUNY School of Law dedicated to discussing environmental FOIA issues. Separating Facts from Fake News: Environmental FOIA in the Trump Era will bring together environmental lawyers, journalists, advocates, and scholars.

Join us for a day of conversation and strategy sessions with environmental lawyers and journalists working to expose and fight environmental deregulation. Develop your FOIA skills with attorneys and journalists who use FOIA in environmental litigation and reporting.

For more information about the event, and to RSVP, click here.


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The City University of
New York School of Law

2 Court Square
Long Island City, NY 11101-4356
Phone: 718-340-4200
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