Correspondence from Texas politicians

Alex Kotch filed this request with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of the United States of America.

It is a clone of this request.

Tracking #

FP-17-029396

Status
Completed

Communications

From: Alex Kotch

To Whom It May Concern:

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

All correspondence from these selected Texas members of Congress (listed below) and their staff members, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to any U.S. Army Corps of Engineers leadership or staff members from January 1, 2015 through the present: Sen. John Cornyn, Sen. Ted Cruz, Rep. Louie Gohmert, Rep. Ted Poe, Rep. Sam Johnson, Rep. John Ratcliffe, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, Rep. Joe Barton, Rep. John Culberson, Rep. Kevin Brady, Rep. Michael McCaul, Rep. Michael Conaway, Rep. Kay Granger, Rep. Mac Thornberry, Rep. Randy Weber, Rep. Bill Flores, Rep. Jodey Arrington, Rep. Lamar Smith, Rep. Pete Olson, Rep. Will Hurd, Rep. Kenny Marchant, Rep. Roger Williams, Rep. Michael Burgess, Rep. Blake Farenthold, Rep. John Carter, Rep. Pete Session, Rep. Brian Babin and former Rep. Randy Neugebauer.

For email correspondence, this refers to all communications from these elected officials sent to any email addresses affiliated with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, 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,

Alex Kotch

From: Smith, Mary A CIV USARMY CEHEC (US)

CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr. Kotch:

This is the acknowledge receipt of your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
request for all correspondence from selected Texas members of Congress and
their staff members to any U.S. Army Corps of Engineers leadership or staff
members, from January 1, 2015 through August 30, 2017.

Your request is not perfected. At this time we are unable to process your
request because the description is overly broad and should be narrowed. The
effort required to fulfill your request as presented exceeds what FOIA
requires.

At your earliest convenience, please call Mr. Damon Roberts to discuss ways
that we can clarify the scope of your request so that the Corps of Engineers
can conduct a reasonable search for responsive documents. Mr. Roberts can be
reached at (703) 428-6161. His e-mail address is:
Damon.A.Roberts@usace.army.mil.

Best regards,
Mary Alice

Mary Alice Smith for Damon Roberts
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
HECSA - Office of Counsel
7701 Telegraph Road
Alexandria, VA 22315
703-428-8160 (office)
703-428-7221 (fax)
Mary.A.Smith@usace.army.mil

THIS IS A PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION -ATTORNEY-CLIENT/ATTORNEY WORK-PRODUCT.
DO NOT RELEASE UNDER FOIA.

NOTICE: This email and any attachments constitute non-public information
and may contain legally privileged and confidential information intended
solely for the use of the addressee(s). If you are not the intended
recipient, any reading, dissemination, distribution, copying or other use of
this email, including attachments, is prohibited and may be unlawful. If
you have received this message in error, please delete it, including all
copies and backups, and notify me immediately by telephone at (703) 428-8160
or by email at Mary.A.Smith@usace.army.mil. Thank you.

From: Alex Kotch

Mr. Roberts:

Thanks for speaking today. Here are some key words to help limit your search. In general, I'm looking for anything relating to fossil fuels, chemicals, their regulation, natural disaster and recovery efforts, and climate change.

Here are the key words:

Flood, Flooding, Mitigation, Climate change, Global warming, oil, gas, extraction, drilling, natural gas, coal, hurricane, tropical storm, natural disaster, environment, natural gas, coal, chemical plant, chemical safety, chemical safety rules, EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, TCEQ, refining, refinery, mine

Thanks very much for your help.
Best,
Alex Kotch

From: Smith, Mary A CIV USARMY CEHEC (US)

CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr. Kotch,

As a follow-up to our conversation and your e-mail message to Mr. Damon Roberts, dated September 14, 2017, your request is perfected at the Headquarters level. Per our conversation, you agreed to limit your request to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters and the Texas Districts.

We are in the process of determining where the information you have requested would be located and identifying relevant records custodians. Also, as mentioned during our conversation, because of the size of your request, you should expect that it will take a while for us to respond.

We have also forwarded a copy of your request to our Southwestern Division. They will coordinate with the Texas Districts in conducting a separate search for responsive documents, and will reply to you directly with regard to your request. I have included the Southwestern Division FOIA Office contact information below should you wish to contact them directly.

CECC-SWD
Earle Cabell Federal Bldg
1100 Commerce Street
Room 824
Dallas, TX 75242
foia-swd@usace.army.mil
Phone: 469-487-7011
Fax: 469-487-7193

Best regards,

Mary Alice Smith
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
HECSA - Office of Counsel
7701 Telegraph Road
Alexandria, VA 22315
703-428-8160 (office)
703-428-7221 (fax)
Mary.A.Smith@usace.army.mil

THIS IS A PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION -ATTORNEY-CLIENT/ATTORNEY WORK-PRODUCT.
DO NOT RELEASE UNDER FOIA.

NOTICE: This email and any attachments constitute non-public information and may contain legally privileged and confidential information intended solely for the use of the addressee(s). If you are not the intended recipient, any reading, dissemination, distribution, copying or other use of this email, including attachments, is prohibited and may be unlawful. If you have received this message in error, please delete it, including all copies and backups, and notify me immediately by telephone at (703) 428-8160 or by email at Mary.A.Smith@usace.army.mil. Thank you.
CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED

From: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr. Kotch,

Please see the attached in response to your FOIA request.

Best regards,

Mary Alice Smith
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
HECSA - Office of Counsel
7701 Telegraph Road
Alexandria, VA 22315
703-428-8160 (office)
703-428-7221 (fax)
Mary.A.Smith@usace.army.mil

THIS IS A PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION -ATTORNEY-CLIENT/ATTORNEY WORK-PRODUCT. DO NOT RELEASE UNDER FOIA.

NOTICE: This email and any attachments constitute non-public information and may contain legally privileged and confidential information intended solely for the use of the addressee(s). If you are not the intended recipient, any reading, dissemination, distribution, copying or other use of this email, including attachments, is prohibited and may be unlawful. If you have received this message in error, please delete it, including all copies and backups, and notify me immediately by telephone at (703) 428
8160 or by email at Mary.A.Smith@usace.army.mil. Thank you.
CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED

From: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Mr. Koch:

This is in regard to your Freedom of Information Act request that was submitted on Oct. 2, 2017. I am checking to see if you are still in need of this information? Please let me know.

Delene R. Smith
Paralegal Specialist
CISM Team Member
Office of Counsel
Fort Worth District
(817) 886-1148 (Office) 817-247-5946 (cell)
delene.r.smith@usace.army.mil

From: Alex Kotch

Hi Ms. Smith,

You provided me with documents on Nov. 3. Are there any more? If not, I've gotten what I asked for. Thank you.

From: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Mr. Kotch:

After a small amount of confusion, I have realized that this request was sent to various offices in Texas. You received a response from Ms. Smith at Headquarters. I am Ms. Smith in Fort Worth, Texas and we are still processing your request. I was checking to see if you are still in need of any information that we might be able to locate.

Delene R. Smith
Paralegal Specialist
CISM Team Member
Office of Counsel
Fort Worth District
(817) 886-1148 (Office) 817-247-5946 (cell)
delene.r.smith@usace.army.mil

From: Alex Kotch

Ah, thank you. Yes, I'm still interested in whatever you find. Thank you.

From: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED

Mr. Kotch,

Thank you for your patience while I processed your FOIA request. It was initially directed to US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Headquarters Office, referred to the Southwestern Division, and then referred to the three USACE districts that cover the State of Texas. (Tulsa District has a small portion of Texas within its boundary.) Unfortunately, when it arrived at the Tulsa District, it fell in line behind a large request that took a number of months to finish. I have now finished processing your request.

The search for responsive documents was made by searching for correspondence from the named offices, then reviewing the documents for the subject matter and keywords you provided. (I've attached a copy of the original request and the keywords for your ready reference.)

I was able to locate one document that could possibly be considered to meet the search criteria--sort of. The document meets the criteria in that it was sent by Congressman Thornberry's staff member and it contains the words flooding and mitigate. (Your keyword was mitigation.) However, the document does not address any of the subjects you noted. Rather, it pertains to a citizen's inquiry about structures within the flowage easement (or below elevation 1159') at Lake Kemp. The document (an e-mail) contains the Tulsa District's response as well.

If you would like this document, I could provide it in redacted form. However, because the Tulsa District does not currently have authority to withhold any documents or portions of documents, I am unable to release that document directly to you unless you agree to accept redacted documents. If you would like the document, but cannot agree to accept redactions, I must forward the document to the Southwestern Division for their review and they would make a determination and issue appeal rights (if necessary). To aid in your decision, it is helpful to know that the redactions protect the personal information of private citizens and lower-level DOD civilian employees (FOIA Exemption 6).

Please let me know how you would like to proceed.

Thank you very much.

Raye
Ms. Raye L. Thornton
Freedom of Information Act Officer
Paralegal Specialist
(918) 669-7593

US Army Corps of Engineers
Attn: CESWT-OC
2488 E 81st Street
Tulsa, OK 74137-4290
CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED

From: Alex Kotch

Thanks, I'll take the document in redacted form.

Best,
Alex

From: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED

Thank you very much, Mr. Kotch. Please let me know if you require anything else.

Raye
Ms. Raye L. Thornton
Freedom of Information Act Officer
Paralegal Specialist
(918) 669-7593

US Army Corps of Engineers
Attn: CESWT-OC
2488 E 81st Street
Tulsa, OK 74137-4290

From: Alex Kotch

Hi,

Thanks so much for your help with this request! I really appreciate it.

Sincerely,
Alex Kotch

From: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Mr. Koch:

We have located some documents that are responsive to your Freedom of Information Act request that we received on October 2, 2017. We would like to know if we have your permission to redact Exemption (b)(6) personal/personnel information from the documents? If so, we will be able to release the requested information directly from this office within in the next couple of weeks. If not, we will have to forward the documents to our Southwestern Division office for further review. Please advise how you would like us to proceed.

Delene R. Smith
Paralegal Specialist
CISM Team Member
Office of Counsel
Fort Worth District
(817) 886-1148 (Office) 817-247-5946 (cell)
delene.r.smith@usace.army.mil

From: Alex Kotch

Hi, I'm fine with you redacting as long as the redaction process does not include omitting the names of various personnel. Is the (b)(6) exemption only for personal, medical, etc. info about these people, or does it include the names as well?

Thanks,
Alex

From: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Mr. Koch:

The information we have to provide are the newsletters from the mentioned congress members. There is one email where we would be redacting the name of a constituent.

Delene R. Smith
Paralegal Specialist
CISM Team Member
Office of Counsel
Fort Worth District
(817) 886-1148 (Office) 817-247-5946 (cell)
delene.r.smith@usace.army.mil

From: Alex Kotch

Ok, that's fine, thank you.

From: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

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