Sierra Club v. United States Fish and Wildlife Service, No. 17-16560 (9th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
Sierra Club filed suit under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), seeking records generated during the EPA's rule-making process concerning cooling water intake structures. The panel affirmed in part the district court's summary judgment order requiring the production of certain documents, holding that the December 2013 draft jeopardy biological opinions and related documents, as well as the March 2014 reasonable and prudent alternative (RPA), were not both predecisional and deliberative.
However, the panel reversed in part and held that there was sufficient support to conclude that the December 2013 RPAs and the April 2014 draft jeopardy opinion were pre-decisional and deliberative. Therefore, these records were exempt under FOIA Exemption 5. The panel remanded for a segregability analysis.