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FIA-12-0014 - In the Matter of Another Way BPA

OHA issued a decision denying FOIA Appeals filed by Another Way BPA, relating to a request which it filed for records regarding the I-5 Corridor Reinforcement Project.  In March 2012, the DOE’s Bonneville Power Administration issued three determinations in response to Another Way BPA’s requests. In the determinations, BPA indicated that it located some documents responsive to Another Way BPA’s requests and released the documents with information withheld pursuant to FOIA Exemptions 5 and 6.  Another Way BPA appealed each determination, challenging the adequacy of BPA’s searches, and the applicability of Exemption 5.  On appeal, OHA determined that, although BPA’s searches did not yield the volume of records that the appellant expected, the searches were reasonably calculated to reveal records responsive to request and, therefore, were adequate.  In addition, OHA found that BPA properly invoked the deliberative process privilege in withholding information from the released documents under FOIA Exemption 5. Accordingly, OHA denied Another Way BPA’s Appeals.