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FIA-12-0002 - In the Matter of Erik Lerche

On January 31, 2012, OHA issued a decision denying a FOIA appeal filed by Erik Lerche of a final determination issued by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).  Mr. Lerche requested copies of the addresses of the 42 houses weatherized under the Federal Weatherization Assistance Program (“WAP”) in Page County, Virginia, from July 1, 2009, through June 30, 2011.  EERE conducted a search of its records but did not locate responsive documents.  In its response, EERE informed Appellant that its Office of Weatherization and Intergovernmental Programs does not require states to provide DOE with the addresses of weatherized homes and referred him to the rule which sets forth state requirements for maintaining the privacy of the WAP applicants.  In his appeal, Mr. Lerche challenged EERE’s response and requested release of the information that he requested.  EERE informed us the WAP has no data in any database or other file that references the specific homes that were weatherized.  According to EERE, the primary data is not maintained at the federal level but resides in the offices of the 1,007 subgrantees that provide direct services to families in need.  OHA therefore found that EERE does not have the requested documents.  Accordingly, the Appeal was denied.