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Jaime Herrera Beutler Continues Pressing Coast Guard to Respond to Six Month-old Request for Internal CRC Documents

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Washington, April 10, 2014 | comments
Jaime Herrera Beutler today sent a letter to the U.S. Coast Guard pressing the agency for internal communication regarding the Columbia River Crossing that she had originally requested on September 16, 2013.
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Jaime Herrera Beutler today sent a letter to the U.S. Coast Guard pressing the agency for internal communication regarding the Columbia River Crossing that she had originally requested on September 16, 2013.

Despite repeated requests, the Coast Guard has only provided external communications and internal administrative records, but no internal communications.

“While the CRC is now dead, many unanswered questions remain; particularly surrounding the Coast Guard’s permitting process,” Jaime states in the letter. “As I said in my letter dated October 24, 2013, there are serious concerns in Southwest Washington and in Congress that the Coast Guard was improperly influenced to deviate from standard procedures to issue the permit. There were a number of unprecedented steps taken throughout this process, including the removal of permitting jurisdiction from the regional office in Seattle.”

The text of Jaime’s entire April 10 letter follows, and the original can be found by clicking here.



Commandant Papp:

As you may know, on March 7th the Oregon Department of Transportation announced it had begun shutting down all activities related to the proposed Columbia River Crossing (CRC) bridge project. The shutdown is scheduled to be completed by May 31. With Washington State rejecting the proposal in 2013, Oregon’s actions will mark the end of the highly flawed and highly controversial project.

While the CRC is now dead, many unanswered questions remain; particularly surrounding the Coast Guard’s permitting process. As I said in my letter dated October 24, 2013, there are serious concerns in Southwest Washington and in Congress that the Coast Guard was improperly influenced to deviate from standard procedures to issue the permit. There were a number of unprecedented steps taken throughout this process, including the removal of permitting jurisdiction from the regional office in Seattle.

In both the aforementioned letter and a letter dated September 13, 2013 I requested internal and external communications regarding the CRC. I appreciate the delivery of external documents and internal administrative records. However, six months after the initial request I have still not received any internal communications. I do not believe that throughout the entire permitting process there were no emails sent between Coast Guard employees regarding the Columbia River Crossing. It has also been brought to my attention that the Coast Guard has not complied with private citizen requests for communications under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

The Coast Guard’s disregard for my constituents’ concerns and private citizens’ requests is both upsetting and inappropriate. I implore you to provide the public with the information that was requested, as a failure to do so would also be a failure to comply with United States law.

I would appreciate your prompt attention to this matter.

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