[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

Re: E-M:/ Lax Environmental Enforcement - Show us the data - reply



-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Enviro-Mich message from "George B. Davis" <georgebd@legislex.com>
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

In fairness to MDEQ, my initial reaction to the "FOIA" letter below is that
it is not a proper FOIA request in that it requests data and the response to
specific inquiries, rather than public "documents."  If the State has
existing documents that provide the data requested, and they are public
documents within the meaning of the law, then they must be provided.  But
FOIA does not require the State to create new documents, even if it would be
possible to do so, in responding to a FOIA request.  This is a fairly basic
concept.  I am somewhat surprised that MEC did not follow FOIA guidelines in
submitting its request.  And given that failure, I can't say I am surprised
at the State's response or lack thereof.

George B. Davis
Hayes Davis & Dellenbusch PLC

> From: James Clift <jamesmec@voyager.net>
> Reply-To: James Clift <jamesmec@voyager.net>
> Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2000 16:03:39 -0400
> To: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
> Subject: E-M:/ Lax Environmental Enforcement - Show us the data - reply
> 
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Enviro-Mich message from James Clift <jamesmec@voyager.net>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 
> I appreciate the efforts of Thomas Rhorer to provide information
> regarding the Surface Water Quality Division's efforts to enforce our
> environmental laws.  However, the information he provided to
> environ-mich is not the information we requested.  Below is the FOIA as
> it was presented to the MDEQ:
> 
> 
> August 17, 2000
> 
> Russell Harding, Director
> Department of Environmental Quality
> Hollister Building – Sixth Floor
> P.O. Box 30473
> 106 W. Allegan St.
> Lansing, MI 48909-7973
> 
> Re: Freedom of Information Act Request – ECOS Activities
> 
> Dear Mr. Harding:
> 
> In the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) report, Fraudulent
> Case: How the Environmental Working Group Misled the Public about
> Environmental Enforcement, you criticize the Environmental Working Group
> for using state-generated public data in the preparation of their
> report.  In order to provide a balanced picture of the enforcement
> efforts taken by your department, I request the following information
> pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, 442 PA 1976:
> 
> Clean Air Act Enforcement
> 
> 1. What is the total number of “major” sources of air emissions in
> Michigan?
> 
> 2. How many sources are considered high priority violators?  If the MDEQ
> uses a designation other than “high priority violators” please explain
> the term and disclose the number of sources that fall into that
> category.
> 
> 3. How many inspections, and of what types, were conducted on major
> sources of air emissions in the last three years for which data is
> available for the entire year?  In how many of those cases were
> independent stack tests conducted by the department?
> 
> 4.  How many inspections, and of what types, were conducted on high
> priority violators in the last three years for which data is available
> for the entire year?  In how many of those cases were independent stack
> tests conducted by the department?
> 
> 5. Under your agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency to
> implement the Clean Air Act how many and what types of inspections are
> you required to conduct annually of air emission sources in Michigan?
> 
> Clean Water Act Enforcement
> 
> 6. What is the total number of NPDES permit holders in Michigan?
> 7. How many permit holders are considered significant violators?  If the
> MDEQ uses a designation other than “significant violators” please
> explain the term and disclose the number of sources that fall into that
> category.
> 
> 8. How many compliance inspections were conducted on NPDES permit
> holders in the last three years for which data is available for the
> entire year?  In how many of those cases were independent tests
> conducted on the effluent discharge by the department?
> 
> 9.  How many compliance inspections were conducted on significant
> violators in the last three years for which data is available for the
> entire year?  In how many of those cases were independent tests
> conducted on the effluent discharge by the department?
> 
> 10. Under your agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency to
> implement the Clean Water Act how many and what types of inspections are
> you required to conduct annually of NPDES permit holder in Michigan?
> 
> If you have any questions regarding this request, you may contact me at
> 487-9539.  I would request a waiver of any fees pursuant to MCLA 15.234
> in that the information requested “can be considered as primarily
> benefiting the general public”.  If you do not agree and the cost of
> responding to this request exceeds $25, please contact me and I will
> make arrangements to view materials before copying.
> 
> Sincerely,
> 
> 
> 
> James Clift, Policy Director
> Michigan Environmental Council
> 119 Pere Marquette, Ste. 2A
> Lansing, MI 48912
> (517) 487-9539
> 
> 
> 
> ==============================================================
> ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
> and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at
> http://www.great-lakes.net/lists/enviro-mich/
> 
> Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
> majordomo@great-lakes.net  with a one-line message body of  "info enviro-mich"
> ==============================================================
> 


==============================================================
ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at
http://www.great-lakes.net/lists/enviro-mich/

Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
majordomo@great-lakes.net  with a one-line message body of  "info enviro-mich"
==============================================================