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RE: [greenyes] any laws requiring public tours of landfills?--Public Records Act???


Is it a publicly owned and operated landfill or private property? What are the owner/operators risks related to reasonable assurance of safety of the visitors? If it is private property, then the inspection reports, less any active enforcement information, are probably available to the public, but I doubt that would be stretched to access to the private facility.

Cathi Lyman-Onkka
Saint Paul - Ramsey County Department of Public Health
Environmental Health Section
cathi.lyman-onkka@no.address
Phone: 651-773-4449 Fax: 651-773-4454
www.co.ramsey.mn.us/ph/eh

-----Original Message-----
From: Toni Stein [mailto:tweil@no.address]
Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2005 11:58 PM
To: Eric Lombardi; greenyes@no.address
Subject: Re: [greenyes] any laws requiring public tours of landfills?--Public Records Act???

Hey Eric--
Here's an idea to leverage your way in--:

If the landfill is part owned or operated by the City or County, then you may be in luck at least if your State has a Public Records Act.

I think you could creatively argue that the landfill itself is a public record since it's design is a topic of City and County business (since it goes through siting and permitting) As a result the actual land is a matter of business since there are engineering drawings and other specifications that as it is built it must comply with. As a result the actual landfill structure could be considered an entity of significance with respect to State, or local compliance. And if State or local inspections occur at the landfill then the "landfill" would be the subject of a state or local inspector's inspection report and thus the public should be able to have access to see the landfill that the inspector communicates about.

http://www.thefirstamendment.org/publicrecordsact.pdf

THE BASICS
The Public Records Act is designed to give the
public access to information in possession of
public agencies: : "public records are open to
inspection at all times during the office hours of
the...agency and every person has a right to
inspect any public record, except as . . . provided,
[and to receive] an exact copy" of an
identifiable record unless impracticable
WHAT'S COVERED
* "Records" include all communications related to
public business "regardless of physical form or
characteristics, including any writing, picture,
sound, or symbol, whether paper,..., magnetic or
other media." (§ 6252(e)) Electronic records are
included, but software may be exempt. (§§
6253.9(a),(g), 6254.9 (a),(d))

WHAT MUST HAPPEN
* Access is immediate and allowed at all times
during business hours. (§ 6253(a)) Staff need
not disrupt operations to allow immediate access,
but a decision whether to grant access
must be prompt. An agency may not adopt rules
that limit the hours records are open for viewing
and inspection. (§§ 6253(d); 6253.4(b))
* The agency must provide assistance by helping
to identify records and information relevant to
the request and suggesting ways to overcome
any practical basis for denying access.

Best <http://www.thefirstamendment.org/publicrecordsact.pdf>
Antoinette "Toni" Stein, PhD
800 Magnolia Street
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Telephone: 650-853-0314
cell: 650-823-7662
tweil@no.address

From: Eric Lombardi <mailto:eric@no.address>
To: greenyes@no.address
Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2005 3:46 PM
Subject: [greenyes] any laws requiring public tours of landfills?

Does anyone know of any state or local law that requires a landfill to allow public tours?

Eric Lombardi
Executive Director
Eco-Cycle Inc
303-444-6634
www.ecocycle.org

"Anything that changes your values, changes your behavior"
George Sheehan.




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