Budget for North Shore Road EIS Study

Donald Triplett III filed this request with the National Park Service of the United States of America.
Tracking # NPS-2014-00823
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Appeal

Communications

From: Donald Triplett III

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

A copy of the budget for the North Shore Road Environmental Impact Study (EIS), and any documents related to the legal justification for using any portion of the 16 million dollars appropriated for the specific purpose of "construction of, or improvements to the North Shore Road" to conduct the EIS.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

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,

Donald Triplett III

From: Wilson, Charis

Hi Marianne,

Here is another one. I've cc'd the requester so he knows who will be
handling this.

C.
____________________
Ms. Charis Wilson, MLS, CRM
NPS FOIA Officer
12795 W. Alameda Parkway
PO Box 25287
Denver, CO 80225-0287
303-969-2959
Fax: 303-969-2557
1-855-NPS-FOIA

"What we find changes who we become." - Peter Morville

"The historian works with records...there is no substitute for records: no
records, no history." - Paraphrasing Langlois & Seignobos (1903)

"Let us be guardians, not gardeners" - Unknown, From 1963 Living Wilderness
editorial - Attributed to Adolph Murie

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Donald Triplett III <requests@muckrock.com>
Date: Tue, Jun 24, 2014 at 8:11 PM
Subject: Freedom of Information Request: Budget for North Shore Road EIS
Study
To: Charis_Wilson@nps.gov

June 24, 2014
National Park Service
Charis Wilson
12795 W. Alameda Parkway
P.O. Box 25287
Denver, CO 80225

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request
the following records:

A copy of the budget for the North Shore Road Environmental Impact Study
(EIS), and any documents related to the legal justification for using any
portion of the 16 million dollars appropriated for the specific purpose of
"construction of, or improvements to the North Shore Road" to conduct the
EIS.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this
request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made
available to the general public free of charge as part of the public
information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the
news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for
commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would
inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would
prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available
or CD-ROM if not.

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,

Donald Triplett III

Filed via MuckRock.com
E-mail (Preferred): requests@muckrock.com

For mailed responses, please address (see note):
MuckRock News
DEPT MR 12292
PO Box 55819
Boston, MA 02205-5819

PLEASE NOTE the new address as well as the fact that improperly addressed
(i.e., with the requester's name rather than MuckRock News) requests might
be returned by the USPS as undeliverable.

From: Donald Triplett III

Marianne, hello!
Please send all material related to the North Shore Road EIS study (NPS-2014-00823) to this email address.
All the best,

From: Donald Triplett III

Dear Ms. Mills:

Regarding FOIA request NPS-2014-00822, a copy of the budget for the North Shore Road Environmental Impact Study (and legal justification for the use of the $16 million), here is the justification for a fee waiver you requested:

1. How do the records concern the operations or activities of the
Government?

These records will provide detailed insight into the finances of the Environmental Impact Study for the North Shore Road project. The final recommendation of this Study was to settle with Swain County in the amount of $52 million in exchange for doing away with the 1943 agreement to build the North Shore Road.

2. If the records concern operations or activities of the Government,
how will disclosure likely contribute to public understanding of these
operations and activities?

Records that are disclosed as a result of this request may show mishandling of the $16 million appropriation by the National Park Service (NPS), including improperly using those funds to conduct the Environmental Impact Study. Furthermore, documents may also show a continuous pattern of apathy by the NPS towards the North Shore Road issue, which includes the payment of settlement funds to Swain County.

As noted in a previous fee waiver justification, the $52 million settlement that was agreed to be paid to Swain County (in exchange for doing away with the 1943 agreement) in 2010 has still yet to be fulfilled. Currently, there is some substantial confusion among members of the public as to why the $52 million has yet to be paid; as a reporter for WLOS ABC 13, a local station in the area, put it in 2012, “People in one mountain county say it’s another broken promise from the government.” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pStKwQpmdfY)

3. If there is likely to be a contribution to public understanding, will
release of the requested records contribute significantly to public
understanding?

Yes. In addition to requesting a copy of the budget for the Study, any records regarding the legal justification for using the $16 million appropriation will contribute significantly to public understanding, as they will provide background for the budget. These justification records will also be of further interest in determining if there has been any indifference towards citizens of Swain County and the surrounding areas regarding the use of appropriated funds for either the Road or the Settlement.

4. How do you plan on using or distributing the information? How will
the public be aware of the information you gain?

In addition to making the information received publicly available on MuckRock.com, I plan on disseminating information received, along with an original summary, to local, state, and federal elected officials for the Swain County area, as well area newspapers and other news outlets. If the information is of interest to them, I will also make the information received available to advocacy groups that were both for/against the Road or the settlement.

Furthermore, previous requests that I’ve made have been reported on before, as is the case with another request made to the Gettysburg National Military Park (an NPS park, for which I received a fee waiver): http://civilwar.gratzpa.org/2014/08/more-information-on-correcting-errors-on-the-pennsylvania-memorial-at-gettysburg/

Finally, I have no commercial interest in this request.

Also, please note that this is the correct email address for this request; the email should begin in 12292. There has been a bit of confusion regarding the emails as of late, and I appreciate your time and understanding in this matter.

Sincerely,

Donald Triplett, III

From: Donald Triplett III

Dear Ms. Mills:

Regarding FOIA request NPS-2014-00823, a copy of all DOI appropriations made within the GSMNP broken down or listed by project, county, and state, here is the fee waiver justification you requested:

1. How do the records concern the operations or activities of the
Government?

These records concern the operations of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) as they will show the breakdown and locations of all the projects that have took place within the park.

2. If the records concern operations or activities of the Government,
how will disclosure likely contribute to public understanding of these
operations and activities?

Records that are disclosed as a result of this request may confirm the suspicion by many that the GSMNP unfairly favors the Tennessee side of the park in terms of the amount of money that side receives for projects, maintenance, marketing, etc. This can be generally viewed by simply looking at the park map: http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/upload/grsmmap2-2.pdf

3. If there is likely to be a contribution to public understanding, will
release of the requested records contribute significantly to public
understanding?

Yes. The public will finally understand the exact dollar that either side of the Park receives as a result of any appropriations.

4. How do you plan on using or distributing the information? How will
the public be aware of the information you gain?

In addition to making the information received publicly available on MuckRock.com, I plan on disseminating information received, along with an original summary, to local, state, and federal elected officials for the GSMNP area. I also plan to disseminate the information received to area media outlets, in both TN and NC, as well.

Furthermore, previous requests that I’ve made have been reported on before, as is the case with another request made to the Gettysburg National Military Park (an NPS park, for which I recieved a fee waiver): http://civilwar.gratzpa.org/2014/08/more-information-on-correcting-errors-on-the-pennsylvania-memorial-at-gettysburg/

Finally, I have no commercial interest in this request.

Also, please note that this is the correct email address for this request; the email should begin in 12291. There has been a bit of confusion regarding the emails as of late, and I appreciate your time and understanding in this matter.

Sincerely,

Donald Triplett, III

From: Mills, Marianne

This is in response to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request
assigned Tracking Number NPS-0214-00823. Specifically, this request is for:

*A copy of the budget for the North Shore Road Environmental Impact Study
(EIS), and any documents related to the legal justification for using any
portion of the 16 million dollars appropriated for the specific purpose of
"construction of, or improvements to the North Shore Road" to conduct the
EIS.*

In working with Great Smoky Mountains National Park staff, we have
determined that funding for this project came from the Federal Highways
Administration (FHWA), including decisions on expenditure of funds. We will
respond with any NPS records regarding this subject; however, the records
you are seeking are FWHA records. To submit a FOIA request for FHWA
records, You may submit your request via mail, fax, or e-mail:

*Mail*

*Field*: To request information located in FHWA's field offices, see FOIA
Request Guide (above) for addresses

*HQ*: Federal Highway Administration
Attn: FOIA Officer (HCC-40)
1200 New Jersey Ave., SE
Washington, DC 20590

*Fax* (202) 366-7499

*E-mail* foia.officer@fhwa.dot.gov

Marianne M. Mills
Public Affairs Specialist
Southeast Region, NPS
100 Alabama Street SW
1924 Building
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 507-5613
(404) 562-3263 FAX
marianne_mills@nps.gov

From: Mills, Marianne

Attached is our response to this FOIA request; however, park staff at Great
Smoky Mountains also noted that the EIS was actually funded by the Federal
Highways Administration, not the National Park Service. Our search estimate
is based on searching for the records our agency may have relating to your
request. Since the project was actually funded by another agency, it is
more likely that agency will have the specific records you are seeking. If
you prefer to submit a request to the Federal Highways Administration and
would like to close this request, let me know.

You can submit a FOIA request with FHWA at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/foia/

Marianne M. Mills
Public Affairs Specialist
Southeast Region, NPS
100 Alabama Street SW
1924 Building
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 507-5613
(404) 562-3263 FAX
marianne_mills@nps.gov

Files

pages

Close