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Property Rights Foundation of America, Inc.
P.O. Box 75, Stony Creek, NY 12878
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Dedicated to the Fundamental Right to Own and Use Private Property
— As Guaranteed in the United States Constitution

October 21, 2002

Ms. Marilyn Shanahan
New York City Department of Environmental Protection
Office of Water Supply Lands
465 Columbus Avenue - Suite 350
Valhalla, NY 10595

Freedom of Information Request

Dear Ms. Shanahan:

Thank you for returning my call to you today.

I had hoped that, in order to make this freedom of information request more efficient, you could tell me over the telephone the approximate number of revocable access permits issued by DEP across NY City water supply lands to private properties. But at least you did recall that there are only 1,000 to 1,200 in total of permits of all types, which naturally means that the number of revocable access permits would be less. This is contrary to the statements being attributed to you and your staff that there are 1,000 such permits east of Hudson and 2,000 west of Hudson.

Hopefully, the number will not be so great as to cause you such difficulty that you will refuse to grant my request, as you told me would be the case. (I had not been aware that the freedom of information law has a provision allowing an agency to deny a request on the basis of inconvenience, however.)

This freedom of information request is in two parts:

1. Please tell me in writing the approximate number of revocable access permits issued by DEP since January 1, 1997 across its lands to properties that are privately owned.

2. Please furnish me with copies of every revocable access permit issued by DEP since January 1, 1997 across its lands to lands that are privately owned.

PLEASE RECONSIDER THE ALTERNATE REQUEST BELOW THAT I ATTEMPTED TO DISCUSS WITH YOU OVER THE TELEPHONE, IN ORDER TO MAKE COMPLIANCE WITH THIS REQUEST LESS VOLUMINOUS. (I would prefer that you would choose to comply with this alternate request.)

Alternate freedom of information request, in three parts:

1. Please tell me the approximate number of revocable access permits issued by DEP since January 1, 1997 across its lands to properties that are privately owned.

2. Please provide me with the names and addresses of every property owner to whom DEP has issued such a revocable access permit since January 1, 1997. (These names need not be in a list or data base form, unless you already posses such a list or data base, but instead may be simply copies of portions of documents.)

3. Please provide me with a typical revocable access permit issued to these property owners, if indeed such a typical permit exists. (If just two or three types of revocable permits exist, please provide me with copies of each type, instead of copying every individual revocable access permit. If one type of revocable access permit is used almost universally, please furnish me with a copy of that style, and just copy the unusual ones specifically in addition to the typical one.)

With respect to alternate item 3 above, you repeatedly admonished me that my request was too broad to comply with and kept acting as though you were not aware that I am seeking information specifically about revocable access permits, not all permits. To repeat, this request is solely for information about revocable access permits.

It is my intention to make this request in terms that make it feasible for you to efficiently comply with the request, and to make the request process itself efficient. My alternate request is quite simple, and is an attempt to reduce potentially thousands of pages to perhaps ten to fifty pages, by requesting only one copy of a potentially repetitive item, or perhaps two or three items if DEP issues a few types of such revocable access permits. However, if each revocable access permit involves different terms of access, rather than differing meets and bounds descriptions, which of necessity must occur, my first list of requested items, rather than my alternate list, is my request.

Please telephone or write me and receive my approval before expending more than $100.00 in copying fees chargeable to us to fully comply with this request. If you intend to only partially comply, please inform me of the specifics of your compliance before charging copying to us.

In compliance with the New York State law, please either grant or deny my Freedom of Information request in writing within the time limit established by statute. Thank you for your immediate cooperation.

Yours very truly,

Carol W. LaGrasse
President

cc. Robert Freeman,
New York State Committee on Open Government
James E. Morgan, Attorney


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