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"Protect the Freedom of Information Act" sign-on letter

October 26, 2000

Honorable Thomas Carper Governor of Delaware

Dear Governor Carper:

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has proposed to charge for the time needed by it's staff to respond to requests filed 
under the Delaware Freedom of Information Act. The proposed regulation reads: "...Administrative charges will be billed to the requestor per quarter hour. These 
charges will be billed at the current, hourly paygrade rate...." Such charges would strike at the very heart of FOIA, and it's value to individual citizens and community 
based organizations. Many of those most in need of FOIA information may be those least able to pay fees for it.

Another objectionable part of the proposed regulations limits FOIA access to "Delaware Citizens," defined as "... one who resides/domiciles, owns property or pays 
taxes in Delaware or has a business address in the State of Delaware; one who has a current Delaware driver's license; or one who is incorporated within the State of 
Delaware." This means, apparently, that a citizen or community group in, say, Pennsville, New Jersey, or Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania, could not use the Delaware 
FOIA to obtain information about a facility that might be polluting their community. Businesses and property owners are accommodated but not ordinary citizens. 
This is wrong, and contrary to the intent of the FOIA.

We the undersigned object to these proposed regulations and ask you to have them withdrawn. DNREC officials have suggested there is an underlying problem of 
insufficient staff to process an increasing number of FOIA requests. If so, this is a problem that you as Governor have had the power to address for the last eight 
years. You should do so now.

Respectfully,

The Undersigned



Let us know what you think. 

Email us at 

GreenDel@dca.net

or contact
Alan J. Muller, Exec. Director
P.O. Box 69
Port Penn, DE 19731
302-834-3466 Voice
302-836-3005 FAX

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All work is done by volunteers and members including this website. 

This page was last updated on October 28th, 2000.
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