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  *Your Voice is Needed to Tell DEQ *** to Keep its Records Open to the Public.**   Friends, On September 22nd, the Wyoming Department...


 

Your Voice is Needed to Tell DEQ
 to Keep its Records Open to the Public.

 

Friends,

On September 22nd, the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) Water and Waste Advisory Board is taking up a proposed rule that will limit the public’s access to important records disclosing how our state’s environment is being protected (or in some cases, how it isn’t).

DEQ is proposing to adopt a controversial new rule being pushed in various agencies in the state that requires members of the public to pay for copies of electronic records, like agency emails.  In our digital age, DEQ staff uses email to make important decisions, and the record of these decisions should be available to the public. Unfortunately, charging high search and production fees to make the records available means that public access and information will be effectively denied.

Please weigh in with comments to the DEQ asking them to:

 

  • Comply with the Wyoming Environmental Quality Act’s core mandate of open records to make all agency information available to the public without charging an access fee;

  • Not charge fees to the public related to records that are a part of an agency permitting, enforcement, or rulemaking process, where the public needs to have access to the information to participate in DEQ’s comment processes; and

  • Develop internal procedures that produce records faster and make more information available to the public, as opposed to limiting public access to records.

 

Please submit your written comment by September 21st so it can be considered by Advisory Board at their meeting.

Comments can be submitted online via DEQ’s website (if it’s easier for you, send comments to sanderson@powderriverbasin.org and we’ll compile them for the Advisory Board).

They can also be mailed to Gina Thompson, DEQ/WQD, 200 W. 17th Street, Suite 400, Cheyenne, WY 82002 or faxed to (307) 635-1784.

If you’re in the Jackson area, please consider attending the Advisory Board meeting and providing comments in person. The meeting will be held Friday, September 22nd at 9:00 a.m. at the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Jackson Regional Office, 420 N Cache St, Jackson.

Thanks for your time and for weighing in to support open government!