Standing Rock Eviction (Army Corps of Engineers-Omaha District)

Curtis Waltman filed this request with the US Army Corps of Engineers - Omaha District of the United States of America.
Est. Completion None


From: Curtis Waltman

To Whom It May Concern:

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

On February 22nd and February 23rd of 2017 in the area along the Cannonball River that was the site of the anti-Dakota Access pipeline protests, an eviction of these demonstrators took place. I would like any Special Event Threat Assessment Reports, situational awareness reports, any incident reports, and any post-operational briefings or memoranda to personnel concerning the eviction. I would also like any reports on the cleaning up of the protester camp, which came to be known as Oceti Sakowin. These would be reports dealing with what role the department would play in the clean up, and what methods were used. Furthermore, I request memoranda or reports resulting from any and all meetings with demonstrators between February 15th and February 23rd 2017.

As a member of the news media working for MuckRock News I request that a fee waiver for my request be granted. My work has also been published by national outlets. My work for Motherboard can be viewed at the following link:

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.


Curtis Waltman

From: Burke, Linda F CIV USARMY CENWO (US)


Mr. Waltman - This email will acknowledge receipt of your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request below.

With respect to your request for a fee waiver, the following criteria are used in determining whether or not a request for a fee waiver will be granted: Fee waivers may be granted: (1) "if disclosure of the information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government"; and (2) if disclosure "is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester." 5 U.S.C. ยง552(a)(4)(A)(iii). Both of these requirements must be met before the fees for a FOIA request may be waived.

There are four factors we consider in order to determine whether the public interest prong has been met. They are as follows:

First, the subject matter of the requested records, in the context of the request, must specifically concern identifiable "operations or activities of the government."

Second, in order for the disclosure to "likely to contribute" to an understanding of specific government operations or activities, the disclosable portions of the requested information must be meaningfully informative in relation to the subject matter of the request.

Third, the disclosure must contribute to the understanding of the public at large, as opposed to the individual understanding of the requester or a narrow segment of interested persons. Under this factor, we look to the identity and qualifications of the requester-e.g., expertise in the subject area of the request and ability and intention to disseminate the information to the public.

Lastly, the disclosure must contribute "significantly" to public understanding of government operations or activities. The public's understanding must be likely to be enhanced by the disclosure to a significant extent.

Under the second prong of the fee waiver test, we look at the following two factors:

First, whether the requester has a commercial interest that would be furthered by the requested disclosure.

Second, whether the magnitude of the identified commercial interest of the requester is sufficiently large, in comparison with the public interest in disclosure, that disclosure is "primarily in the commercial interest of the requester."

Your email lacks sufficient information for us to make a determination on whether you meet the fee waiver criteria. News media requests do not lead to automatic fee waivers. In looking at the Muckrock website, it appears Muckrock has a commercial interest in the information you have requested. Muckrock provides services and charges customers to make FOIA requests on their behalf and Muckrock may choose to provide the documents to others who pay a fee.


Linda F. Burke
Paralegal Specialist
Phone: 402/995-2603



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