The Missouri Coalition for the Environment has accused the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of withholding information on mining and other development projects that could damage wetlands.
The environmental group filed suit against the Corps of Engineers in late March, alleging that the agency denied it access to permits and documents that relate to mining and other types of projects. The suit claims that the Corps of Engineers' St. Louis and Little Rock districts have repeatedly refused to release documents, such as permit applications, using an exemption of the Freedom of Information Act.
Federal agencies will use Exemption 5 of FOIA to keep from disclosing documents that contain information they are not required by law to disclose, or details that are important in a decision-making process.
Disclosing such information is in the public's interest, said Elizabeth Hubertz, a Washington University lawyer who represents the Missouri Coalition for the Environment.