“Supreme Court: Justices Accept Endangered Species FOIA Plea”

“The Supreme Court today [Monday] agreed to hear a dispute over whether certain draft documentation of Endangered Species Act decisionmaking should remain off-limits to the public.

Government attorneys have asked the nation's highest bench to overturn a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that said the Freedom of Information Act required federal officials to release a draft biological opinion that informed 2014 regulations for cooling water intake structures at power plants.

‘If the decision below is left standing, it has the potential to inhibit the frank deliberations between agencies that are essential to … the wide range of federal agency actions that may affect ESA-listed species,' the government wrote in its petition, titled Fish and Wildlife Service v. Sierra Club.”

Pamela King reports for Greenwire March 2, 2020.