Group against Mountain Valley Pipeline fights high cost of FOIA request

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FRANKLIN COUNTY (WSLS 10) - A group against the Mountain Valley Pipeline is outraged over a letter the county administrator sent in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) records request.

In the letter, it states an initial deposit of $4,800 to complete a FOIA request involving the pipeline.

The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League filed the request. It asked for all forms of communication like meeting and telephone notes, emails, and calendar entries.

However all the information comes at a cost and the price is not being taken lightly by residents.

"I say shame on the county for doing that," says Darlene Hines, a Franklin County resident. "They should be sharing the information with us anyway."

The county administrator says the total cost will be determined once the deposit is paid to move forward.

He says the price is factored into how much it would cost the IT department to work about four to five days on getting the information.

"When citizens want information we want to give it to them, but it has to be in a way it allows to continue our government along the way," says Brent Robertson, county administrator.  

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