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Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Fla. v. United States

ELR Citation: 38 ELR 20049
Nos. No. 06-13309, (11th Cir., 02/15/2008)

The Eleventh Circuit held that a lower court erred by finding that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted an adequate search in response to a Native American tribe's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for documents concerning the Agency's Clean Water Act review of Florida’s amendments to the Everglades Forever Act and the Phosphorus Rule for the Everglades Protection Area. Genuine issues of material fact exist regarding the reasonableness and adequacy of the EPA search for, and disclosure of, responsive documents to the tribe’s FOIA request. The tribe also challenged the district court’s determination, after an in camera review, that all withheld documents were properly designated by EPA as privileged. But the court properly ruled that the documents fall under FOIA Exemption 5, which protects certain interagency and intraagency documents.