Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fly on the wall

A recently received FOIA document provides a very interesting fly-on-the-wall perspective of the interaction between the USACE and the developers of the proposed Central Texas Airport. The document in question is a summary of a telephone conference held October 25, 2011. The date of this meeting is confirmed on page 1 of the Compensatory Mitigation Plan of the revised Environmental Information Document (EID) submitted to the USACE by the Proposed Central Texas Airport in January 2012.

The meeting Agenda submitted by ACI consulting lists the attendees as Jim Carpenter, CTA, Walter Tacquard CTA, Steve Paulson, ACI, Lauren Dill, ACI and two Corps representatives whose names are redacted. It would be logical to assume they are Jennifer Walker, Chief of the Permits Section and Frederick Land, the Project Manager.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the deficiencies in the first EID (submitted by ACI in August 2011) that were detailed in response to the EID from the USACE on September 07, 2011. StopCTA submitted a FOIA for that letter a year ago. It was denied on December 05, 2011 and an appeal was posted on December 30, 2012. The document remains on appeal with the Army General Counsel in Washinton DC. Thanks to the meeting summary which lists 23 discussion items, we now have a pretty clear idea of what that withheld letter contains. Issues discussed at that meeting will be highlighted in separate posts.

The only other item to be noted here is that an additional attendee - Ronnie Moore, Bastrop County - was present at the conference call. The Corps confirmed that they did not extend the invitation so it would have had to come from someone on the CTA ‘team’. In light of other documents that StopCTA has acquired but not yet made public, that was no surprise to us. More on that later . . .

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