Wednesday, December 17, 2014

OCWRC Answers Blogger's FOIA Appeal

About a month ago, I made a FOIA request to the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner (OCWRC), as well as the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), for "...a copy of all records created or obtained by [agency] within the timeframe of January 1, 2014 to present that contain a rationale for the difference between the strict water quality and erosion control enforcement in MEAs [municipal enforcement agencies] and the lax enforcement by OCWRC in its role as CEA [county enforcement agency], as that rationale relates to Michigan waters and the public trust."

Earlier this month, OCWRC responded, "...documents understood to be requested... do not exist..." (emphasis added.) I took that to mean that there was no logical explanation for the double standard in water quality enforcement. But I had requested records, not merely documents. It occurred to me that OCWRC's response was, at least in part, incomplete or non-responsive to my request, so I appealed (see this blog, December 4), offering a little more rope with which to fashion a noose.

The appeal drew a letter from an attorney for the Commissioner, the essence of which was "... there are no records maintained by this office that satisfy your request."

Of course, such a record may have pre-dated January 1, 2014, but I seriously doubt it.

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