[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


News Home

Subscribe to RSS feed

Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

Sign up for daily updates

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate $10

Donate $5

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Publications & Products

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

State wants $36,000 for public records on wind energy  

Credit:  By Naomi Shalit, Sun Journal, www.sunjournal.com 16 August 2010 ~~

As part of its reporting on the Wind Energy Act of 2008, the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting filed a state public records request under Maine’s Freedom of Access Act, called a FOAA request.

However, the Center never received much of the material it requested from the state because the cost was prohibitive: $36,239.52.

That’s what the state Public Utilities Commission wanted from the Center to search for e-mails from 2005-2007 between then-PUC Chairman Kurt Adams and any representatives of wind company First Wind (where Adams took a job after leaving the PUC); between Adams and Gov. John Baldacci, for whom Adams had previously worked as legal counsel; and between Adams and several prominent wind power attorneys employed by the law firm of Verrill Dana.

In her response to the Center’s request, Joanne Steneck, general counsel for the PUC, explained that “in order to review any e-mails from 2005 to 2007, it will be necessary to restore Mr. Adams’s mailbox from the mail server back up. According to the Office of Information Technology … it takes approximately 2 1/2 hours to restore a snapshot of each day’s e-mails.”

The Center sought access to the e-mails because Adams’ input had been crucial to the deliberations of the governor’s wind power task force.

Initially, Steneck told the Center that a search of backup discs containing e-mail records for the period prior to January 2008 could be done for a cost upward of $10,000.

The Center then asked for a waiver of the $10,000 cost, under provisions in the state’s FOAA that allow waivers to be granted for noncommercial use of public information.

The PUC refused to grant the waiver and revised its estimate of the cost for the Center to get the information to $36,239.52.

According to Steneck, the increased estimate represents the actual cost for OIT to retrieve and restore 824 backup tapes, at a charge of $21.99 per hour, plus the time it would take for PUC personnel to review the restored e-mail messages and redact confidential information. The process is laborious, she explained, because “the state of Maine’s e-mail system was designed in such a way that the backup and restore process allows for disaster recovery purposes only and does not include duplication or search criteria of an archive retrieval system.”

Source:  By Naomi Shalit, Sun Journal, www.sunjournal.com 16 August 2010

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
Donate $5 PayPal Donate


News Watch Home

Get the Facts Follow Wind Watch on Twitter

Wind Watch on Facebook


© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.