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Red Cross Reverses Stance on Superstorm Sandy 'Trade Secrets'

ProPublica reports that the Red Cross had dropped its argument that documents about how it spent $300 million in disaster-relief funds on Superstorm Sandy contain trade secrets. The Red Cross disclosed that the largest Sandy expenditures involved financial assistance, food, other relief items, programming resources and paying for the deployment of staff and volunteers: "More than half the money spent, $129.6 million, went to financial assistance, food, and other relief items. .... The next-largest expenditures were $46.1 million for 'deployment of staff and volunteers (e.g. air travel, rental vehicles, meals, lodging for volunteers)' and $30 million for 'costs of permanent program resources included in Superstorm Sandy response.'" 

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sought details on how the Red Cross spent money on Superstorm Sandy relief, and ProPublica sought the correspondence through a Freedom of Information request, ProPublica previously reported. The Red Cross initially objected to the FOIA request on trade secret grounds.

Wyoming Supreme Court Considers Whether Fracking Chemicals Exempt From Open Records Law

The Wyoming Supreme Court heard arguments this week on whether "a trade secrets exemption in the state's open records law shields many of the chemicals the petroleum industry uses during hydraulic fracturing from public disclosure," according to the Associated Press. Companies do have to disclose the makeup of the chemical products to the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, but environmentalists want the commission to disclose that information to the public.


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