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FOIL Appeal Determination for 04-17-9A (William Crowley)

September 1, 2004

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Office of Hearings and Mediation Services
625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233-1550
Phone: (518) 402-9003 FAX: (518) 402-9037

September 1, 2004

William R. Crowley, President
Competitive Analysis Technologies
11702-B Grant Road, PMB-333
Cypress, Texas 77429

Re: Freedom of Information Law Appeal No. 04-17-9A

Dear Mr. Crowley:

We have completed our review of your July 5, 2004 appeal under the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL, New York State Public Officers Law (POL) sections 84 through 90). This appeal relates to a series of requests for records about the Niacet Corporation facility in Niagara Falls, New York and the responses you received from the Region 9 Office of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in Buffalo. The appeal seeks either to obtain access to the current operating permit, any inspection reports and emission reports, or to have confirmation that these documents do not exist or are being withheld.

Region 9 provided access to the records responsive to your request that were available in the Region 9 Office, with the exception of information withheld as trade secrets. As stated in your appeal letter, you are not appealing denial of access to trade secret information. In responding to your request, however, Region 9 did not include records that are located in the DEC Division of Air Resources at DEC's central office in Albany, New York. We requested from the Division of Air Resources a copy of the latter records.

The Division of Air Resources provided the Office of Hearings and Mediation Services with additional documents responsive to your request, all of which are accessible under FOIL. These documents do not, however, include a current operating permit because the Niacet facility presently has a registration certificate rather than a permit. In the central office records of the Division of Air Resources, the most recent inspection report for Niacet is for a September 14, 1999 inspection and the most recent emission statement is for 1997.

Your correspondence concerning the FOIL request also sought Niacet's response to a February 18, 2003 letter from DEC. Copies of the February 18, 2003 letter and a response submitted on behalf of Niacet were provided by the Division of Air Resources, as was a copy of Niacet's current registration.

The records being made available consist of 37 pages. If you wish to be provided with a copy of these pages, please send a check for $9.25 to this office within 30 days of the date of this letter, payable to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to cover copying costs (37 pages at $0.25 per page). If you wish to review these documents at our office, please contact Deborah Vachon at 518-402-9003 within this same time frame. In any further communication with this office, please reference the above FOIL appeal number.

This is the final determination of the Department of Environmental Conservation regarding your July 5, 2004 FOIL appeal. You have the right to seek judicial review of this determination pursuant to Article 78 of the New York State Civil Practice Law and Rules and POL section 89(4)(b).

Sincerely yours,

Louis A. Alexander
Assistant Commissioner for Hearings and Mediation Services


Susan J. DuBois
Administrative Law Judge

cc: Robert Freeman, Executive Director
Committee on Open Government

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