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FIA-14-0012 - In the Matter of Donna Deedy

On February 18, 2014, the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) issued a decision denying an appeal (Appeal) from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) determination issued by the Department of Energy’s of Health, Safety and Security (HSS), concluding that it could not locate any responsive documents. The Appellant, Donna Deedy, requested “copies of correspondence between DOE officials and Keith Stalnaker, Dr. Jay Brown, or representatives of Paragon Technical Services, Inc. regarding the the [sic] disease links in HazMap and/or disease links in the Department of Labor’s [DOL] Site Exposure Matrix [SEM] from 2005 to present.” The Office of Health and Safety (HS-10) within HSS conducted the search. The Appellant contested the adequacy of the search for responsive documents pertaining to her FOIA Request and she argued that other offices within the DOE and HSS should have conducted a search for documents. HSS explained that HS-10 conducted the search for responsive documents because HS-10 supports the implementation for the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Act and there are no other offices within HSS that have that responsibility. The OHA reviewed HSS’s description of its search methodology, and determined that an adequate search for documents was conducted and that no responsive documents existed.  Therefore, the OHA denied the Appeal.