Prior to submitting a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request consider checking the electronic sources listed in the Reading Room which may provide the desired information.
Under the federal Freedom Of Information Act ("FOIA"), 5 U.S.C. 552, the public is allowed to receive copies of records in the possession of the agencies of the U.S. Government, including EPA. In general, documents must be released to a person requesting the document, unless the document falls into one of the release exemptions set forth in FOIA. With some exceptions, EPA is allowed to charge fees to requesters in order to recover the direct costs of search, duplication, and review of the documents requested.
In accordance with Federal regulations set forth at 40 C.F.R. Part 2, FOIA requests to EPA must be in writing and sent to the Freedom of Information Officer.
On October 2, 1997, the FOIA Amendments of 1996 went into affect. A key change for the Mid-Atlantic States Region and all Executive Branch agencies is that the base response time will be adjusted from 10 to 20 business days. Automatic extensions will no longer be available.
In your FOIA request, please provide the full and complete name(s) of the facility(ies) you are inquiring about, the complete address(es), and a specific statement regarding which documents you wish to receive. Since many facilities are regulated under more than one Federal environmental law, please indicate the program or programs from which you desire to request records. If you need database lists for a ZIP code area, please include the state and the needed databases. Please also indicate whether you would like these lists as a printout or on a diskette.
Please note that a great deal of EPA information is already available to the public without the need of a FOIA request. We therefore encourage you to consider the following options prior to submitting a FOIA request. This can save you both time and money.
There are many documents and databases available on the World Wide Web and more becoming available at EPA's public-access server. This server links to other servers with even more EPA information.
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MyPropertyInfo is a single reporting tool for printing from multiple EPA databases. This tool allows Real Estate Agents, Mortgage Banks, Engineering and Environmental Consulting Firms and the public to determine if EPA databases have records on a specific property without filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The results of this search will be identical to the information you would receive by filing a FOIA request with EPA for these records.