EPA Political appointee FOIA records

Nick Surgey filed this request with the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2 of the United States of America.
Tracking #

EPA-R2-2018-004999

Status
Rejected

Communications

From: Nick Surgey

To Whom It May Concern:

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

It is the requestors understanding that EPA regions have been instructed to handle FOIA requests that include records involving EPA political appointees, by routing such requests to EPA HQ for processing. I therefore request any guidance or other instructions provided to an EPA region by EPA HQ about the processing of FOIA requests that include political appointees, or any other records which outline this approach. A search may be limited to records created or transmitted between January 20, 2017 and February 21, 2018.

The requester is entitled to a fee waiver because he is a member of the news media, and because this request for records concerns activities or operations of the government. Disclosure of the requested records will likely increase public understanding of government operations since the requester has the ability and the intention, through the means described below, to effectively convey information contained within the requested records to a broad public audience. Requester is an investigative journalist and the director of Documented, an investigative watchdog and reporting group that explores the relationship between industry and government. Nick Surgey is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Media and Democracy and writes for the Intercept.

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,

Nick Surgey

From: Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2

Hello and good afternoon,

Please note EPA and a number of partner agencies are now using a shared service FOIAonline to receive FOIA requests electronically. This new system allows the public to search previous requests and access responsive documents that have been cleared for release. There are many new features available from this system and if you determine you need to submit a request to a participating agency, please consider creating an account to take advantage of the many features offered by FOIAonline, including modifying your request, communicating with the agency processing your request, and accessing responsive documents cleared for distribution all online, as well as presenting you a dashboard indicating the status of your requests and the ability to file an appeal online. It also eliminates any delays involving having to enter data manually for those FOIAs submitted to the Agency via USPS. We hope you find FOIAonline to be a useful tool in accessing your government and the information of interest to you. Click FOIAonline to access the site.

THE LINK TO THE FOIAonline system is https://FOIAonline.regulations.gov

Respectfully,

Wanda Calderon
Government Information Specialist
Public Outreach Branch
www.epa.gov/foia

From: Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2

Hello and good morning,

Please note the EPA Region 2 office is awaiting your official FOIA submittal via the FOIAonline portal for processing:

https://foiaonline.regulations.gov/foia/action/public/home

Once the FOIA has been received at the above link, we'll process ASAP. You may also contact me directly for assistance at 212-637-3668. Thank you.

Respectfully,

Wanda Calderon
Government Information Specialist
Public Outreach Branch
www.epa.gov/foia

From: Muckrock Staff

To Whom It May Concern:

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

It is the requestors understanding that EPA regions have been instructed to handle FOIA requests that include records involving EPA political appointees, by routing such requests to EPA HQ for processing. I therefore request any guidance or other instructions provided to an EPA region by EPA HQ about the processing of FOIA requests that include political appointees, or any other records which outline this approach. A search may be limited to records created or transmitted between January 20, 2017 and February 21, 2018.

The requester is entitled to a fee waiver because he is a member of the news media, and because this request for records concerns activities or operations of the government. Disclosure of the requested records will likely increase public understanding of government operations since the requester has the ability and the intention, through the means described below, to effectively convey information contained within the requested records to a broad public audience. Requester is an investigative journalist and the director of Documented, an investigative watchdog and reporting group that explores the relationship between industry and government. Nick Surgey is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Media and Democracy and writes for the Intercept.

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,

Nick Surgey

From: Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2

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=090004d28182f00a)
* Tracking Number: EPA-R2-2018-004999
* Requester Name: Nick Surgey
* Date Submitted: 03/01/2018
* Request Status: Submitted
* Description: To Whom It May Concern: This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records: It is the requestors understanding that EPA regions have been instructed to handle FOIA requests that include records involving EPA political appointees, by routing such requests to EPA HQ for processing. I therefore request any guidance or other instructions provided to an EPA region by EPA HQ about the processing of FOIA requests that include political appointees, or any other records which outline this approach. A search may be limited to records created or transmitted between January 20, 2017 and February 21, 2018. The requester is entitled to a fee waiver because he is a member of the news media, and because this request for records concerns activities or operations of the government. Disclosure of the requested records will likely increase public understanding of government operations since the requester has the ability and the intention, through the means described below, to effectively convey information contained within the requested records to a broad public audience. Requester is an investigative journalist and the director of Documented, an investigative watchdog and reporting group that explores the relationship between industry and government. Nick Surgey is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Media and Democracy and writes for the Intercept. 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, Nick Surgey

From: Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2

Your request for Fee Waiver for the FOIA request EPA-R2-2018-004999 has been determined to be not applicable as the request is not billable. Additional details for this request are as follows:
* Request Created on: 03/01/2018
* Fee Waiver Disposition Reason: N/A
* Request Long Description: To Whom It May Concern: This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records: It is the requestors understanding that EPA regions have been instructed to handle FOIA requests that include records involving EPA political appointees, by routing such requests to EPA HQ for processing. I therefore request any guidance or other instructions provided to an EPA region by EPA HQ about the processing of FOIA requests that include political appointees, or any other records which outline this approach. A search may be limited to records created or transmitted between January 20, 2017 and February 21, 2018. The requester is entitled to a fee waiver because he is a member of the news media, and because this request for records concerns activities or operations of the government. Disclosure of the requested records will likely increase public understanding of government operations since the requester has the ability and the intention, through the means described below, to effectively convey information contained within the requested records to a broad public audience. Requester is an investigative journalist and the director of Documented, an investigative watchdog and reporting group that explores the relationship between industry and government. Nick Surgey is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Media and Democracy and writes for the Intercept. 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, Nick Surgey

From: Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2

EPA-R2-2018-004999 has been processed with the following final disposition: Duplicate request.
This is in response to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request submitted to the EPA Region 2 office on March 1, 2018.  Your FOIA requested the following:
"...It is the requestors understanding that EPA regions have been instructed to handle FOIA requests that include records involving EPA political appointees, by routing such requests to EPA HQ for processing. I therefore request any guidance or other instructions provided to an EPA region by EPA HQ about the processing of FOIA requests that include political appointees, or any other records which outline this approach. A search may be limited to records created or transmitted between January 20, 2017 and February 21, 2018."
Thank you for submitting the FOIA request via the FOIAonline portal as advised by Ms. Wanda Calderon of my staff, however, our  Washington, DC, office will be responding on behalf of all regions.  Due to this consolidated approach, we are administratively closing the regional assignment.
You may appeal this response by email at hq.foia@epa.gov, or by mail to the National Freedom of Information Office, U.S. EPA, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. (2822T), Washington, DC 20460 (U.S. Postal Service Only). Only items mailed through the United States Postal Service may be delivered to 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. If you are submitting your appeal via hand delivery, courier service, or overnight delivery, you must address your correspondence to 1301 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Room 6416J, Washington, DC 20001. Your appeal must be made in writing, and it must be received no later than 90 calendar days from the date of this letter. The Agency will not consider appeals received after the 90 calendar day limit. Appeals received after 5:00 pm EST will be considered received the next business day. The appeal letter should include the FOIA tracking number listed above. For quickest possible handling, the subject line of your email, the appeal letter, and its envelope, if applicable, should be marked "Freedom of Information Act Appeal." Additionally, you may seek assistance from EPA’s FOIA Public Liaison at (mailto:hq.foia@epa.gov) hq.foia@epa.gov or (202)566-1667, or from the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS). You may contact OGIS in any of the following ways: by mail, Office of Government Information Services, National Archives and Records Administration, Room 2510, 8610 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001; e-mail, ogis@nara.gov; telephone, 301-837-1996 or 1-877-684-6448; and facsimile, 301-837-0348. (mailto:hq.foia@epa.gov)
If you have any questions or require additional assistance, please contact Wanda Calderon of my staff at 212-637-3668.  This concludes EPA Region 2 response.
Respectfully,

/s/
Mary Mears Public Affairs Director
U.S. EPA Region 2 (NJ, NY, PR, the US VI and eight Indian Nations)

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