Request #17-21
  Closed



Los Angeles Mayor’s Office
200 North Spring Street, Room 303
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Re: California Public Records Act Request: AllenCo and Murphy Drill Sites


Dear Public Records Officer:
This is a request under the California Public Records Act, California Government Code sections
6250 to 6270 (“PRA”), from the Center for Biological Diversity (“Center”), a national, nonprofit
conservation organization that works to secure a future for all species hovering on the brink of
extinction through science, law, and creative media, and to fulfill the continuing educational
goals of its membership and the general public in the process.
REQUESTED RECORDS
The Center requests from the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office (“Mayor’s Office”) from January 1,
2016 to the date of this search: All records of communications between the Roman Catholic
Archdiocese of Los Angeles and/or its staff, representatives, agents, and/or contractors, and the
Mayor of Los Angeles and/or the Mayor’s Office, including employees, staff, representatives,
agents, and/or contractors, mentioning, including, and/or referencing the AllenCo Drill Site
located at 814 W. 23rd Street, Los Angeles, California 90007 and/or the Murphy Drill Site
located at 2126 W. Adams Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90018.
For this request, the term “all records” refers to, but is not limited to, any and all documents,
correspondence (including, but not limited to, inter and/or intra-agency correspondence as well
as correspondence with entities or individuals outside the federal government), emails, letters,
notes, recordings, telephone records, voicemails, telephone notes, telephone logs, text messages,
chat messages, minutes, memoranda, comments, files, presentations, consultations, biological
opinions, assessments, evaluations, schedules, papers published and/or unpublished, reports,
studies, photographs and other images, data (including raw data, GPS or GIS data, UTM,
LiDAR, etc.), maps, and/or all other responsive records, in draft or final form.
This request is not meant to exclude any other records that, although not specially requested, are
reasonably related to the subject matter of this request. If you or your office have destroyed or
determine to withhold any records that could be reasonably construed to be responsive to this
request, I ask that you indicate this fact and the reasons therefore in your response.
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The Center is willing to receive records on a rolling basis.
FORMAT OF REQUESTED RECORDS
The Center requests that the Mayor’s Office provide records in a readily-accessible electronic
format. “Readily-accessible” means text-searchable and OCR-formatted. Please provide all
records in a readily-accessible, electronic .pdf format. Additionally, please provide the records
either in (1) load-ready format with a CSV file index or excel spreadsheet, or if that is not
possible; (2) in .pdf format, without any “profiles” or “embedded files.” Profiles and embedded
files within files are not readily-accessible. Please do not provide the records in a single, or
“batched,” .pdf file. We appreciate the inclusion of an index.
If the Mayor’s Office determines that any of the requested records are exempt from disclosure,
we ask that the Mayor’s Office reconsider that determination in view of Proposition 59, which
amended the state Constitution to require that all exemptions be “narrowly construed.” Cal. Gov.
Code §§ 6250-6276.48. Cal. Gov. Code § 6253 requires release of all reasonably segregable
portions of the requested records which are not themselves exempt from mandatory disclosure.
If the Mayor’s Office determines that the requested records are subject to a still-valid exemption,
we would further request that: (1) the Mayor’s Office exercise discretion to disclose some or all
of the records notwithstanding the exemption; and (2) with respect to records containing both
exempt and nonexempt content; that the Mayor’s Office redact the exempt content and disclose
the rest. Should the Mayor’s Office elect to withhold any documents, please explain under
which provision this is justified as required by Cal. Gov. Code § 6255.
RECORD DELIVERY
We appreciate your help in expeditiously obtaining a determination on the requested records. As
mandated in the PRA, we anticipate a determination within 10 days. Cal. Gov. Code § 6253(c).
The Center respectfully reminds the Mayor’s Office, “nothing shall be construed to permit an
agency to delay or obstruct the inspection or copying of public records,” including timelines for
responses. Cal. Gov. Code § 6253(d). Please provide a complete reply as expeditiously as
possible. You may email or mail copies of the requested records to:
Margaret E. Townsend
Center for Biological Diversity
P.O. Box 11374
Portland, OR 97211
mtownsend@biologicaldiversity.org
If you find that this request is unclear, or if the responsive records are voluminous, please call me
at (971) 717-6409 to discuss the scope of this request.
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REQUEST FOR FEE WAIVER
The Center requests a waiver of all fees because the disclosure of the requested information is in
the public interest and will contribute significantly to public understanding of the Mayor’s
Office’s activities.
The public’s “right of access to information” is enshrined in the California Constitution. Cal.
Const., Art. I, § III(b)(1). In fact, “access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s
business is a fundamental and necessary right of every person in this state.” Cal. Gov. Code §
6250. To carry out these purposes, the Mayor’s Office generally allows the public to access any
public document. Cnty. of Santa Clara v. Superior Ct., 170 Cal. App. 4th 1301, 1320 (2009)
(“All public records are subject to disclosure unless the Public Records Act expressly provides
otherwise.”) (internal citation omitted).
The Center respectfully reminds the Mayor’s Office that access to these records should be
immediate and without charges. “[P]ublic records are open to inspection at all times during the
office hours of the state or local agency and every person has a right to inspect any public
record.” Cal. Gov. Code, § 6253(a). Any fees “for a copy of a public record would have no
effect upon the public’s right of access to and inspection of public records free of charge.” 85
Ops. Cal. Atty. Gen. 225, 229 (Cal. AG 2002)
I. The Center Qualifies For A Fee Waiver.
While we are not requesting photo copies at this time, the Center respectfully requests a waiver
for any fees associated with this matter. The Center is a non-profit conservation organization
dedicated to protecting the environment and educating the public about environmental resources
and threats to those resources. The Center has members throughout California. Once the records
are made available, the Center will analyze and use them in a manner that will meaningfully
enhance the public’s understanding of the impact oil companies have on communities. Through
the Center’s synthesis and dissemination (by means discussed in Section II, below), disclosure of
information contained and gleaned from the requested records will contribute to a broad
audience of persons who are interested in the subject matter. We believe that a fee waiver is
consistent with the letter and spirit of the Mayor’s Office.
In the event the Mayor’s Office declines to grant a fee waiver, North County Parents
Organization v. Department of Education firmly establishes that agency copying fees may only
cover the direct cost of duplication, and that direct costs do not include agency staff time
associated with any task other than, “conceivably,” operating the copy machine. ((1994) 23 Cal.
App. 4th. 144, 148.) Therefore, the Center objects to any copy charges in excess of 10 cents per
page. Please notify us in advance of incurring any costs associated with this request.
II. The Center has a Demonstrated Ability To Disseminate The Requested
Information Broadly.
The Center will use the requested records for outreach and education, including media, as well as
potential litigation or other legal efforts. The Center is a non-profit organization that informs,
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educates, and counsels the public regarding environmental issues, policies, and laws relating to
environmental issues. The Center has been substantially involved in the activities of numerous
government agencies for over 25 years, and has consistently displayed its ability to disseminate
information granted to it through public records requests.
In consistently granting the Center’s fee-waivers, agencies have recognized: (1) that the
information requested by the Center contributes significantly to the public’s understanding of the
government’s operations or activities; (2) that the information enhances the public’s
understanding to a greater degree than currently exists; (3) that the Center possesses the expertise
to explain the requested information to the public; (4) that the Center possesses the ability to
disseminate the requested information to the general public; (5) and that the news media
recognizes the Center as an established expert in the field of imperiled species, biodiversity, and
impacts on protected species. The Center’s track record of active participation in oversight of
governmental activities and decision making, and its consistent contribution to the public’s
understanding of those activities as compared to the level of public understanding prior to
disclosure are well established.
The Center intends to use the records requested here similarly. The Center’s work appears in
more than 2,500 news stories online and in print, radio and TV per month, including regular
reporting in such important outlets as The New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, and
Los Angeles Times. Many media outlets have reported on oil companies’ effect on communities.
In 2016, more than 2 million people visited the Center’s extensive website, viewing a total of
more than 5.7 million pages. The Center sends out more than 277 email newsletters and action
alerts per year to more than 1.5 million members and supporters. Three times a year, the Center
sends printed newsletters to more than 61,443 members. More than 259,900 people have “liked”
the Center on Facebook, and there are regular postings regarding environmental protection. The
Center also regularly tweets to more than 55,000 followers on Twitter. The Center intends to use
any or all of these far-reaching media outlets to share with the public information obtained as a
result of this request. Disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest as it will
contribute significantly to providing insight into the Mayor’s Office’s communications
concerning AllenCo. The information is not being sought for commercial purposes; thus, the
Center qualifies for a fee waiver.
The Center respectfully reminds the Mayor’s Office that access to these records should be
immediate and without charges. “[P]ublic records are open to inspection at all times during the
office hours of the state or local agency and every person has a right to inspect any public
record.” (Cal. Gov. Code § 6253(a)). Any fees “for a copy of a public record would have no
effect upon the public’s right of access to and inspection of public records free of charge.” (85
Ops. Cal. Atty. Gen. 225, 229 (Cal. AG 2002)).
In the event the Mayor’s Office declines to grant a fee waiver, North County Parents
Organization v. Department of Education firmly establishes that agency copying fees may only
cover the direct cost of duplication, and that direct costs do not include agency staff time
associated with any task other than, “conceivably,” operating the copy machine. ((1994) 23 Cal.
App. 4th. 144, 148.) Therefore, the Center objects to any copy charges in excess of 10 cents per
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page. Please notify us in advance of incurring any costs associated with this request.
III. Conclusion
The California PRA requires a response to this request be made within ten days. We hope that
the Mayor’s Office will immediately grant this fee waiver request and begin to search and
disclose the requested records without any unnecessary delays. If access to the records will take
longer than ten days, please contact me with information about when I might expect copies or the
ability to inspect the requested records.
If you have any questions, please contact me at (971) 717-6409 or foia@biologicaldiversity.org.
All records and any related correspondence should be sent to my attention at the address below.
Sincerely,
Margaret E. Townsend
Open Government Staff Attorney
CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
P.O. Box 11374
Portland, OR 97211-0374
foia@biologicaldiversity.org


Received

December 19, 2017 via web


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As of this date, our office has determined that the Office of the City Clerk is not in possession of any documents or information relating to your request.  Please be advised that this response does not include any records that may be in the custody of other City departments.  Each department in the City of Los Angeles maintains and is responsible for their own records. This request with the Office of the City Clerk is considered closed.

For all other city department’s records please go to their respective webpage and contact them directly or please contact 311 Call Center at 213-473-3231.

December 19, 2017, 1:37pm
Department Assignment Public
City Clerk
December 19, 2017, 11:42am
Request Opened Public
Request received via web
December 19, 2017, 11:42am