Public Utilities Commission Right-to-Know Response
Received via email yesterday:
“Your recent request for information from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission filed pursuant to Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law, 65 P.S. §§ 67.101, et seq., as amended, has been reviewed. In your email of May 3, 2013, you requested:
“Written notice provided to PUC by Columbia Gas on February 26, 2013 regarding a proposed 12” natural gas pipeline. All written records related to March 19, 2013 review by PUC officials with Columbia Gas rep. AJ Sulkowski, incl. agenda, reports, notes, minutes and email corresp.”
Your request is hereby granted in part and denied in part.
As per the response you received from Jennifer Kocher, Press Secretary to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission [3.22.13 Kocher to Watt], our jurisdiction when it comes to natural gas pipelines is limited to safety inspections and the safety of construction and operation of the pipeline. Companies are required to notify the PUC at least 30 days in advance of beginning construction on a major project. We received notification from Columbia Gas of the project in State College on February 26, 2013, that had a construction start date of April 1, 2013.
A copy of the Notice received from Columbia Gas is attached.
To the extent you seek safety investigation or investigative notes of the Commission’s gas safety inspectors, your request is denied. All gas safety investigative records are not public information and are exempt from disclosure pursuant to the RTK Law’s exemption from disclosure for information pertaining to noncriminal investigations applicable under §708(b)(17)(ii) for investigative materials, notes, correspondence and reports, §708(b)(17)(vi)(A) for records that would reveal the institution, progress or result of an agency investigation, §708(b)(17)(vi)(B) deprive a person of the right to an impartial adjudication, and §708(b)(17)(vi)(D) hinder an agency’s ability to secure an administrative or civil sanction.”