Ellen Pavlacka

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Dear Berlin Township,

This is a request for public records made under OPRA and the common law right of access. I am not required to fill out an official form. Please acknowledge receipt of this message.

Pursuant to the Open Public Records Act, I am requesting the following public records:

1) The Municipality’s current contract for waste disposal services.

2) If not specified in the contract itself, records indicating the cost of disposal (in dollars per ton) for each year under the contract, such as a Price Bid Form.

3) If not specified in the contract itself, the term of the contract and the terms for any renewal periods and notifications required for activating or canceling such renewal periods.

For purposes of this request, the term "records" means information of any kind, including, but not limited to, documents (handwritten, typed, electronic or otherwise produced, reproduced, or stored), letters, e-mails, text messages, facsimiles, memoranda, correspondence, notes, databases, drawings, graphs, charts, photographs, maps, forms, minutes of meetings, electronic and magnetic recordings, and any other compilation of data from which information can be obtained, no matter the media upon which it is stored or whether communications took place on public or private electronic devices or phone or email accounts.

If the Municipality believes the records exist that are responsive to this request, but those records or portions of those records are believed to be exempt from disclosure, please identify the records that are being withheld. Please state the basis for the denial for each record being withheld including statute, regulation or court decision. Please cite that law or case, including the specific section or sections you rely upon, in your written response. In addition, please provide the nonexempt portion of the records.

If the Municipality does not possess or control these records but knows or believes that another entity does, please forward this request to the appropriate person and inform me that you have done so.

I ask that fees be waived in the public interest, in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. § 552). Camden for Clean Air is a coalition of neighbors and environmental activists who are rightfully concerned about the air pollution associated with the Camden Covanta incinerator, the largest source of air pollution in Camden. This information would be used to advance the public interest in understanding the current waste disposal system relating to this facility.

If the Municipality wishes to assess fees, please provide an estimate of those fees and the basis of that estimate. If fees are to be assessed due to a complete or partial denial of this fee waiver request, I ask that no expenses be incurred without first conferring with me and providing an estimate of the non-waived fees.

N.J.S.A.47:1A-5(d) states: "A custodian shall permit access to a government record and provide a copy thereof in the medium requested if the public agency maintains the record in that medium. If the public agency does not maintain the record in the medium requested, the custodian shall either convert the record to the medium requested or provide a copy in some other meaningful medium." Pursuant to 47:1A-5(d), please provide the records in searchable, commonly-available electronic formats, such as text or HTML formatted emails, PDF files, CSV spreadsheets, or Microsoft Office formats. Files already in any of these formats are requested to be provided in their native formats for ease of use and for minimal burden on Municipality staff. Please know that electronic records that are printed and scanned, making them unsearchable will be deemed a denial of this request and will leave the Municipality to legal appeal.

Please provide these records here. If files are unusually large, please consult me to arrange the least-cost method for transmitting the files. I will only accept paper copies of files that do not exist in readable electronic formats.

Please respond within 7 business days per N.J.S.A. 47:1A-5(i). Please transmit the materials to me as they become available, rather than wait for all records to become available to dispense. If you have any questions regarding this request, please contact me.

Finally, please confirm receipt of this Open Public Records Act request.


Ellen Pavlacka

Catherine Underwood, Berlin Township

1 Attachment

Good Morning
Please see your response from the OPRA that I received on May 31, 2020. Please let me know if you should need anything else.

Catherine Underwood
Berlin Township RMC,CMR
135 Route 73 South, West Berlin NJ 08091
856-767-1854 ext 212
Email: [email address]

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