Port Authority -- Tunnel Inspection Reports

David Sirota filed this request with the The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey of New York City, NY.
Tracking # 18120
Status
Completed

Communications

From: David Sirota

To Whom It May Concern:
This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

The Office of the New YOrk State Comptroller notes in its 6/28/04 report (which is attached) that the Port Authority’s Tunnel, Bridges and Terminals Department (TB&T), it “has established a program for ensuring the structural integrity if its tunnels, related buildings, and other property is maintained. The program requires a comprehensive tunnel inspection every two years as well as an annual inspection routine.”

I hereby request specific tunnel inspection reports from this program. The reports I request are from the dates 2012 to the present.

I am requesting a waiver of all fees under 5 U.S.C. Section 552(a)(4)(A)(iii). The information I seek is in the public interest because it will contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government and is not primarily in my commercial interest. This request is not a commercial request -- it is being made by an award-winning media organization.
I believe I meet the criteria for a fee waiver recognized by the U.S. Justice Department - and by the federal courts, See Project on Military Procurement v. Department of the Navy, 710 F. Supp. 362 363, 365 (D.C.D. 1989).
My request concerns the operations or activities of government on a critical piece of infrastructure that is of great interest and importance to the public. The records that are responsive to this request will spotlight the way the government shapes policy and will also show the ways that the safety inspection process unfolds.
Also, the information sought has informative value, or potential for contribution to public understanding. Please note the decision in Elizabeth Eudey v. Central Intelligence Agency, 478 F. Supp. 1175 1176 (D.C.D. 1979) (even a single document has the potential for contributing to public understanding). As the senior editor for investigations at Newsweek/IBT, I plan to disseminate this information to the public at large through publication in Newsweek and at International Business Times. Those award-winning publications get millions of visitors per month.
In addition, the release of this information will have a significant impact on public understanding because it will illustrate the results of safety inspections, and give the public more information about the structural integrity of the tunnels.
In your deliberations, please take note of the following cases: Campbell v. U.S. Department of Justice, 334 U.S. App. D.C. (1998)(administrative and seemingly repetitious information is not exempt from fee-waiver consideration); Project on Military Procurement (agencies cannot reject a fee waiver based on the assumption that the information sought is covered by a FOIA exemption; and Landmark Legal Foundation v. Internal Revenue Service, 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21722 (D.C.D. 1998)(the fact that the information will soon be turned over to a public body does not exempt the material from fee-waiver consideration).
If it is your position that some records are exempt from disclosure but others are not, I request that you provide the documents that are not exempt. For the exempted documents, I request that you provide an index of those exempted documents as required under Vaughn v. Rosen, 484 F.2d 820 (D.C. Cir. 1973), cert. denied, 415 U.S. 977 (1972). As you are aware, a Vaughn index must describe each document claimed as exempt with sufficient specificity “to permit a reasoned judgment as to whether the material is actually exempt under FOIA.” Founding Church of Scientology v. Bell, 603 F.2d 945, 949 (D.C. Cir. 1979). Moreover, the Vaughn index must “describe each document or portion thereof withheld, and for each withholding it must discuss the consequences of supplying the sought-after information.” King v. U.S. Dep’t of Justice, 830 F.2d 210, 223-24 (D.C. Cir. 1987) (emphasis added). Further, “the withholding agency must supply ‘a relatively detailed justification, specifically identifying the reasons why a particular exemption is relevant and correlating those claims with the particular part of a withheld document to which they apply.’” Id.at 224 (citing Mead Data Central v. U.S. Dep’t of the Air Force, 566 F.2d 242, 251 (D.C. Cir. 1977)).

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 5 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,
David Sirota
IBT/Newsweek
646-867-7100

From: PA FOI

Please see attached.

Thank you,

[cid:image001.png@01CED712.B2F61D20]
4 World Trade Center | Office of the Secretary
150 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10007

NOTICE: THIS E-MAIL AND ANY ATTACHMENTS CONTAIN INFORMATION FROM THE PORT AUTHORITY OF NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY AND AFFILIATES. IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE RECEIVED THIS E-MAIL IN ERROR, PLEASE NOTIFY THE SENDER IMMEDIATELY, PERMANENTLY DELETE THIS E-MAIL (ALONG WITH ANY ATTACHMENTS), AND DESTROY ANY PRINTOUTS.

From: PA FOI

Please see attached.

Thank you,

[cid:image001.png@01CED712.B2F61D20]
4 World Trade Center | Law Department
150 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10007

NOTICE: THIS E-MAIL AND ANY ATTACHMENTS CONTAIN INFORMATION FROM THE PORT AUTHORITY OF NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY AND AFFILIATES. IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE RECEIVED THIS E-MAIL IN ERROR, PLEASE NOTIFY THE SENDER IMMEDIATELY, PERMANENTLY DELETE THIS E-MAIL (ALONG WITH ANY ATTACHMENTS), AND DESTROY ANY PRINTOUTS.

From: PA FOI

Please see attached.

Thank you,

[cid:image001.png@01CED712.B2F61D20]
4 World Trade Center | Law Department
150 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10007

NOTICE: THIS E-MAIL AND ANY ATTACHMENTS CONTAIN INFORMATION FROM THE PORT AUTHORITY OF NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY AND AFFILIATES. IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE RECEIVED THIS E-MAIL IN ERROR, PLEASE NOTIFY THE SENDER IMMEDIATELY, PERMANENTLY DELETE THIS E-MAIL (ALONG WITH ANY ATTACHMENTS), AND DESTROY ANY PRINTOUTS.

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