Interior proposal to limit records requests draws challenge

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Interior Department is proposing restrictions on public records requests, drawing a challenge from a Democratic lawmaker who says the move would undermine transparency

House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raul Grijalva is asking for public hearings on the proposal. He made the request late Wednesday to acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.

The department proposal would let the agency ignore records requests under the Federal Freedom of Information Act that it determines require “an unreasonably burdensome search.” The agency also proposes monthly limits on records requests.

Grijalva is asking the agency to extend its 30-day period for public comment on the changes, and hold public hearings.

Interior Department spokeswoman Faith Vander Voort says the agency will give the public “sufficient” time to comment on the proposal.

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