Administrator vehicular travel policy

Alexander Rony filed this request with the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States of America.

It is a clone of this request.

Tracking #

EPA-HQ-2018-006413

Status
Completed

Communications

From: Alexander Rony

To Whom It May Concern:

I am filing a Freedom of Information Act request for the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) policy or rules regarding the use of lights and/or sirens for administrator vehicular travel (or vehicular travel in general, if there is no policy specific to the administrator's use). Please include any final versions of the policy that have been in place at any point between January 20, 2017 and April 6, 2018.

I would prefer the request be filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not. Please produce the records on a rolling basis; at no point should the search for – or deliberation concerning – certain records delay the production of others that the agency has already retrieved and elected to produce.

I respectfully request that you waive all fees in connection with this request as provided by 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(A)(iii). The Sierra Club is a national environmental nonprofit with no commercial interest in obtaining the requested information. Instead, our organization intends to analyze and disseminate the requested information free of charge so that the public can meaningfully participate in government oversight of wasteful resources and indulgent practices.

The subject matter of the requested records is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations and activities of the government by disclosing more information about a major news story. The New York Times reported that there was internal debate about using flashing lights and sirens in EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's motorcade to expedite local trips in Washington, D.C. The story gained traction as it mentioned that Administrator Pruitt had used this power inappropriately to make fairly routine trips, including for dinner.

The article said, "Such use was not consistent with agency policy, but [former head of Administrator Pruitt's protective detail] Mr. Weese was unsuccessful in stopping it," suggesting that either a change in policy has taken place in the past year or current practice is not in line with the policy (source: https://nyti.ms/2EnPGKf). In the same article, EPA spokesperson Jahan Wilcox confirmed that the security detail does use lights and sirens in a "very limited fashion," though claimed that Administrator Pruitt "played no role in deciding when the sirens and lights would be used." This inherent conflict in details could be partially cleared up by the disclosure of the agency's rules.

The Sierra Club and its supporters have demonstrated interest and expertise in the subject area as it relates to unnecessary security and travel expenses incurred at a time when the EPA has faced very large budget cut proposals.

In addition to the public interest fee waiver, I ask to be properly categorized as a representative of the news media. The bulk of my professional duties at the Sierra Club entails planning and writing content about public policy, including composing mass communications to our followers, analyzing FOIA responses, and coordinating press outreach. I have previously written about my Freedom of Information Act requests:

https://sierraclub.org/planet/2017/05/trump-admin-policies-leave-700-cdc-jobs-vacant
https://sierraclub.org/planet/2017/04/hiring-freeze-prevented-epa-filling-hundreds-jobs

This work was covered in major media outlets:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2017/05/19/nearly-700-vacancies-at-cdc-because-of-trump-administration-hiring-freeze/
http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/13/politics/epa-hiring-freeze/index.html

The Sierra Club has the ability and intention to disseminate the information it receives through this request. The information may be shared through emails to an audience reaching into the millions, Facebook and Twitter posts reaching tens of thousands of followers, articles on our often-visited website, and analysis provided to the media.

In the event that there are fees, please inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. Please also include an explanation of why I was not granted the fee waivers and/or reductions.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Alexander Rony
Sierra Club

From: Environmental Protection Agency

Your password in the FOIAonline application was recently changed for this email requests@muckrock.com. (https://foiaonline.regulations.gov:443/foia/action/public/home)

From: Environmental Protection Agency

This message is to confirm your request submission to the FOIAonline application: View Request. Request information is as follows: (https://foiaonline.regulations.gov:443/foia/action/public/view/request?objectId=090004d2818aee55)
* Tracking Number: EPA-HQ-2018-006413
* Requester Name: Alexander Rony
* Date Submitted: 04/09/2018
* Request Status: Submitted
* Description: I am filing a Freedom of Information Act request for the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) policy or rules regarding the use of lights and/or sirens for administrator vehicular travel (or vehicular travel in general, if there is no policy specific to the administrator's use). Please include any final versions of the policy that have been in place at any point between January 20, 2017 and April 6, 2018.

From: Environmental Protection Agency

04/25/2018 05:46 AM FOIA Request: EPA-HQ-2018-006413

  • FOIA -- EPA-HQ-2018-006413 Alexander Rony re Fee Waiver Grant Letter.docx

From: Environmental Protection Agency

Your request for Fee Waiver for the FOIA request EPA-HQ-2018-006413 has been fully granted. Additional details for this request are as follows:
* Request Created on: 04/09/2018
* Fee Waiver Disposition Reason: N/A
* Request Long Description: I am filing a Freedom of Information Act request for the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) policy or rules regarding the use of lights and/or sirens for administrator vehicular travel (or vehicular travel in general, if there is no policy specific to the administrator's use). Please include any final versions of the policy that have been in place at any point between January 20, 2017 and April 6, 2018.

From: Environmental Protection Agency

Dear Mr. Rony,

Please see attached.

Tom Seaton, Deputy Director
Legal Counsel Division (2232-A)
Office of Criminal Enforcement, Forensics and Training
Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington D.C. 20460

Office: (202) 564-2544
Cell: (202) 373-4923
Fax: (202) 501-0599

From: Environmental Protection Agency

Your user account in the FOIAonline application has been reset. (https://foiaonline.regulations.gov:443/foia/action/public/home)
Username: requests@muckrock.com
Temporary password: kyQAA44Kpeg5
After successfully logging in, you'll be asked to change this password before continuing.

From: Environmental Protection Agency

07/02/2018 09:18 AM FOIA Request: EPA-HQ-2018-006413

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