Records of the Portland District of the US Army Corps of Engineers related to Phase II of the ca. 1960s National Fallout Shelter Survey

Lee O'Connor filed this request with the US Army Corps of Engineers - Portland District of the United States of America.
Tracking #

180136489

Due May 23, 2018
Est. Completion May 2, 2018
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Lee O'Connor

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

Hello, Can you please help me find Portland District records of the National Fallout Shelter Survey (ca. 1961-1962 or later) that relate to the preliminary inventory, survey, or utilization of caves as public fallout shelters? This could include 1960s-era internal memos, reports, or correspondence with the Department of Defense Office of Civil Defense, the Northwest Division of the Navy Bureau of Yards and Docks, the Oregon Department of Civil Defense, cave property owners, county and city civil defense directors, and private architect-engineers employed to survey these sites.

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,

Lee O'Connor

From: US Army Corps of Engineers - Portland District

Dear Mr. O’Connor:

This email acknowledges receipt of your request to the Portland District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552, as amended, dated March 21, 2018 for the “National Fallout Shelter Survey (ca. 1961-1962 or later) that relate to the preliminary inventory, survey, or utilization of caves as public fallout shelters” within Portland District jurisdiction.

The FOIA allows fees to be charged to certain types of requestors, but it also provides that waivers or reductions in fees be given if disclosing the information is in the public interest. Public interest is defined as information which significantly enhances public knowledge of USACE operations and activities. Requestors are placed in one of three categories: commercial, news media, and “other.” A representative of the news media is a person actively gathering news for an entity organized and operated to publish or broadcast news to the public. News media pay only hard-copy duplication fees, unless it is determined that disclosing the information is in the public’s interest.

It should be noted that the District maintains some historic records, however depending on federal record management requirements, many are transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration relinquishing the District’s control. Additionally, each respective office manages records, both hard copies and digital, differently or may use software that differs from another. This means that we do not have a standardized search engine/software application that we can perform keyword searches, similar to the way Google or Bing operate, across all platforms. Each individual likely to have responsive records must perform an independent good faith search in addition to their regularly assigned duties. For this reason, search efforts may exceed statutory timelines.

As a preliminary matter, please be advised that the District receives a large volume of complex FOIA requests, which are processed on a “first-in, first-out” basis. Accordingly, backlogged FOIA requests are also processed in the same manner. We apologize in advance should any delays occur and cause any inconvenience. Your request is assigned FOIA tracking number 180136489 with an estimated final response on or around May 2, 2018 at the latest.

Cordially,

Heather
………………………………..
Heather Hall
District FOIA Officer
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Portland District Counsel, CENWP-OC
333 SW First Avenue
Portland, OR 97204-3495
✉: FOIA-NWP@usace.army.mil<mailto:FOIA-NWP@usace.army.mil> | ☏: (503) 808-4519
http://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/About/FOIA.aspx

From: US Army Corps of Engineers - Portland District

Mr. O'Connor:

The Corps has performed a good faith search for records related to fallout shelters located in within Portland District jurisdiction and identified one record to date. We are in the process of digitizing the record for production. The Corps is performing a final search of historic records relative to the use of caves circa 1960s as fallout shelters. While the Portland District Library contains some historic records, the vast majority are relinquished to, and controlled by, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) pursuant to federal record management protocols. While the Corps will provide all documents under our control, we encourages MuckRock to consult with NARA.

As conveyed in the Corps' email dated March 26, 2018, we anticipate final response and release of documents, if any, by May 2, 2018.

Cordially,

Heather
………………………………..
Heather Hall
District FOIA Officer
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Portland District Counsel, CENWP-OC
333 SW First Avenue
Portland, OR 97204-3495
✉: FOIA-NWP@usace.army.mil 
http://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/About/FOIA.aspx

From: Lee O'Connor

Hi Heather,

That is good news that there is one record. Thank you for keeping me updated on the search for records. I look forward to reading whatever documents are found to be available.

Lee

From: Lee O'Connor

Hi Heather,

Your last email said that "we anticipate final response and release of documents, if any, by May 2, 2018." The last I heard, my request had "FOIA tracking number 180136489 with an estimated final response on or around May 2, 2018 at the latest." Also, you wrote "The Corps has performed a good faith search for records related to fallout shelters located in within Portland District jurisdiction and identified one record to date. We are in the process of digitizing the record for production." It is May 23 now and I was wondering if you are still processing my request and when I might expect to receive the one document that has been found so far.

Lee O'Connor

From: US Army Corps of Engineers - Portland District

Hi Lee,

Thank you for your continued patience. While the Corps makes every effort to respond to FOIA requests as timely as possible, estimates final responses are sometimes missed due to several factors as stated in our email sent March 21, 2018. In speaking with other District counterparts, we understand similar requests were processed containing the same subject matter. Many Districts no longer maintain historical documents due to retention and record management policies by which records are then transferred to NARA or made available for public review through libraries across the country.

We have identified one record in hard copy form that is most relevant to the scope of your request: Cougar Reservoir, South Fork McKenzie River, Oregon. Design memorandum no. 13, power plant, supplement A, radiological fallout protection; 1961. TC 202 .P67 C683 DM 13 SUP A. See, http://a10127.eos-intl.net/A10127/OPAC/Details/Record.aspx?IndexCode=1&TaskCode=325408&HitCount=1&CollectionCode=2&SortDirection=Ascending&CurrentPage=1&CurrentLinkCode=MA10127|3592315|1|329743&SelectionType=0&SearchType=1&BibCode=MA10127|3592315|1|329743 You are welcome to check-out this document directly from the library, or, we can scan the document and produce electronically once technical issues have been resolved with our scanner. How would you like for us to proceed?

In the meantime, courtesy of the Portland District Library, we would like to offer the following in response to your FOIA request.

Historical Vignette - The Corps Helped Answer President Kennedy's Call - The Corps Helped Answer President Kennedy's Call for National Preparedness http://www.usace.army.mil/About/History/Historical-Vignettes/Civil-Engineering/035-Preparedness/

Online Resources:
· Final report on the development of Community Shelter Plan for Harney County, Oregon, 1968: https://digital.osl.state.or.us/islandora/object/osl%3A93996/datastream/OBJ/view
· National Fallout Shelter Survey Program, 1967: http://www.worldcat.org/title/national-fallout-shelter-survey-program/oclc/990319942&referer=brief_results
· Catalog of Shelter Components, 1962: http://www.worldcat.org/title/catalog-of-shelter-components/oclc/9096270&referer=brief_results
· An evaluation of the shelter potential in Mines, Caves, and Tunnels, 1965: http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/617111.pdf
· An evaluation of the shelter potential in Mines, Caves, and Tunnels, Appendices I, II, III, 1965: http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/617112.pdf
· Final Report, National Underground Mine Inventory, 1983: http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a134607.pdf
· Caves of Washington, 1963: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/Publications/ger_ic40_caves_of_wa.pdf
· National fallout shelter survey, phase 1, survey instructions, 1967: http://www.worldcat.org/title/national-fallout-shelter-survey-program-phase-1-survey-instructions/oclc/858914046&referer=brief_results
· Catalog of Shelter components, 1963: http://www.worldcat.org/title/catalog-of-shelter-components/oclc/747821034&referer=brief_results
· National fallout shelter survey: base maps, 1962: http://www.worldcat.org/title/national-fallout-shelter-survey-base-maps/oclc/1028050034&referer=brief_results
· Expedient shelters survey: final report, 1973: http://www.worldcat.org/title/expedient-shelters-survey-final-report/oclc/23827380&referer=brief_results
· Description of computer for the National fallout shelter survey, 1963: https://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/Legacy/RPT/nbsreport7826.pdf
· Reading the phase II printout (self-teaching materials), 1966: http://www.worldcat.org/title/reading-the-phase-ii-printout-self-teaching-materials/oclc/644198728&referer=brief_results
· Calculation of protection factors for the National fallout shelter survey, 1962: http://www.worldcat.org/title/calculation-of-protection-factors-for-the-national-fallout-shelter-survey/oclc/781495646&referer=brief_results
· The forgotten cold war: the National Fallout Shelter Survey and the establishment of public shelters, 2015: http://www.worldcat.org/title/forgotten-cold-war-the-national-fallout-shelter-survey-and-the-establishment-of-public-shelters/oclc/912925296&referer=brief_results
· National fallout shelter survey, marking and stocking program, 1962: http://www.worldcat.org/title/national-fallout-shelter-survey-marking-and-stocking-program/oclc/853283850&referer=brief_results
· National Fallout Shelter Survey marking and stocking program, 1962: http://www.worldcat.org/title/national-fallout-shelter-survey-marking-and-stocking-program/oclc/58743934&referer=brief_results
Best Regards,

Heather
………………………………..
Heather Hall
District FOIA Officer
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Portland District Counsel, CENWP-OC
333 SW First Avenue
Portland, OR 97204-3495
✉: FOIA-NWP@usace.army.mil<mailto:FOIA-NWP@usace.army.mil>
http://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/About/FOIA.aspx

From: Lee O'Connor

Hi Heather,

Thank you for following up and sharing all of these helpful links to materials online and in libraries. Some of these documents I have seen before, but some are completely new to me and I look forward to reading them.

When the scanner is repaired I would love to have a scanned copy of the design memorandum from your library.

Lee O'Connor

Lee O'Connor is author of Take Cover, Spokane: A History of Backyard Bunkers, Basement Hideaways, and Public Fallout Shelters of the Cold War available at Auntie's Bookstore in Spokane, and on Amazon in paperback and Kindle. He graduated from Sammamish High School, earned a bachelor’s degree in documentary filmmaking and history at the Evergreen State College, and completed a master’s degree in history at Washington State University. During his tenure as a cultural resources specialist with the King County, Washington, Historic Preservation Program he surveyed barns in May Valley and mid-century modern houses in Kenmore. In 2015, he worked with pioneering Spokane-area documentarian Robert L. Pryor to help preserve Pryor's four films of the 1960s and 1970s and share them on YouTube with the expertise of Jeff Tillotson at Lightpress in Seattle who transferred the 16mm films to a digital format. O'Connor currently lives in Seattle where he is writing a book about abandoned underground missile silos in the Columbia Basin, and working on a documentary film based on his book Take Cover, Spokane. His films on YouTube include Colman Pool: From Segregation to Integration, 1941-44 (3:46), Seattle In Time Lapse (3:35), and Snoqualmie Tunnel: A Hike Through Railroad History (2:31). The Washington State Historical Society published a chapter from Take Cover, Spokane, in the spring 2016 issue of their magazine Columbia available at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma and the historical society website.

From: US Army Corps of Engineers - Portland District

Hi Lee,

Thank you for your email. I am contacting you as a follow-up to the one potentially responsive document the District located.

Your FOIA request indicates an interest in “…utilization of caves as public fallout shelters.” The document, Cougar Reservoir, South Fork McKenzie River, Oregon. Design memorandum no. 13, power plant, supplement A, radiological fallout protection, referenced yesterday, is a design memorandum for fallout protection facilities at Civil Works Projects, specifically Cougar Reservoir, for operating personnel and their families only. The design utilized the existing facility.

In light of this new information, would this document be of interest to you?

Best Regards,

Heather
………………………………..
Heather Hall
Paralegal Specialist | District FOIA Officer
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Portland District Counsel, CENWP-OC
333 SW First Avenue
Portland, OR 97204-3495
☏: (503) 808-4519
✉: Heather.A.Hall@usace.army.mil
FOIA ✉: FOIA-NWP@usace.army.mil<mailto:FOIA-NWP@usace.army.mil>
http://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/About/FOIA.aspx
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NOTICE: This e-mail (including any attachments) may contain material that (1) is confidential and for the sole use of the intended recipient, and (2) may be protected by the attorney-client privilege, attorney work product doctrine or other legal rules. Any review, reliance or distribution by others or forwarding without express permission is strictly prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender and delete all copies. Do not forward outside USACE or release under FOIA.

From: Lee O'Connor

Hi Heather,

Thank you for the message about Document 13. I would be interested in seeing the document for comparison sake and possible background information on the shelter program.

Lee

Files