To the Editor:

It's time to get the facts straight about the efforts by the Environmental Law & Policy Center and the Prairie Rivers Network to ensure that documents filed with the Court in the Syngenta atrazine pollution case aren't hidden from the public.

The Madison County Record's August 11th headline, "Environmental group says Tillery schemed to exert pressure on Syngenta" is simply incorrect.

The Environmental Law & Policy Center and Prairie Rivers said nothing of the sort. The Madison County Record's editor has recognized that this headline was a mistake and has offered a correction, which we appreciate.

Here are the facts: The Syngenta case involves alleged atrazine contamination of water supplies.

Courts have ruled that the public should have access to any documents filed with courts unless they are proven to fit within a few narrow exception categories, such as trade secrets. Many of the "judicial records" documents filed in this case were sealed and kept secret from the public.

The Environmental Law & Policy Center and Prairie Rivers Network intervened in this case to request that the sealed documents be made accessible to the public under applicable legal standards. The Court granted the Environmental Law & Policy Center's and Prairie Rivers Network's motion to intervene and is now considering which additional documents should be unsealed.

Hopefully, this clarifies the situation.

Howard A. Learner
Environmental Law & Policy Center

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