Citizen Action, a New Mexico nonprofit, has sued EPA seeking documents related to allegedly defective groundwater monitoring wells in Albuquerque under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI A). Citizen Action v. EPA, No. 11-00695 (D.N.M. filed 8/8/11) . The lawsuit seeks to compel EPA, Region 6, and the EPA Office of Inspector General (IG ) to produce records sought in five FOI A requests submitted to the agency beginning in December 2007.
The FOI A requests involved documents related to allegedly defective groundwater wells at the Sandia National Laboratory Mixed Waste Landfill and EPA IG records related to an investigation of a Citizen Action complaint alleging that the New Mexico state environmental agency mismanaged monitoring wells at Sandia and that EPA failed to oversee the state agency. The lawsuit alleges that EPA initially denied the existence of a well-monitoring report but later admitted its existence and then withheld it as confidential. The EPA IG also refused to release records concerning its investigation. The complaint alleges that EPA and the IG violated FOI A by refusing to release the requested documents.