The federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) applies to documents held by agencies in the executive branch of the federal government. The executive branch includes cabinet departments, military departments, government corporations, government controlled corporations, independent regulatory agencies, and other establishments in the executive branch.
The FOIA does not apply to elected officials of the federal government, including the president, vice president, senators, and congressmen. The FOIA does not apply to the federal judiciary. The FOIA does not apply to persons who receive federal contracts or grants and tax-exempt organizations.
All states and some localities have passed laws like the FOIA that allow people to request access to records. In addition, other federal and state laws that may permit access to documents held by organizations not covered by the federal FOIA.
The Freedom of Information Act provides for public access to records maintained by Region 7. A FOIA request is a written request for records held or believed to be held by EPA. The written request need not specifically refer to the FOIA. The Act requires that agencies provide records unless they are exempt from disclosure as defined in 40 CFR 2.105(a)(1) through (9).
Region 7 operates a centralized FOIA office. The office is responsible for timely processing of administrative actions associated with FOIA requests as set forth in 40 CFR Part 2, Revised Nov. 5, 2002, the Freedom of Information Act Manual, May 4, 1991, and the Region 7, Freedom of Information Procedures, January 25, 1994. Being "customer friendly" and empowering employees has improved accountability/quality, reduced the burden to middle management and shortened the time taken to respond to requests. EPA is allowed to charge fees to requestors in order to recover the direct costs of search, duplication, and review of requested records.
Before making a request under the FOIA, make sure the information you seek is not already available to the public by visiting EPA Region 7 Electronic Reading Room. If the information you seek is not available, submit a request.
EPA and a number of partners' agencies are now using a shared service called FOIAonline to receive FOIA requests electronically. This new system allows the public to search previous requests and access responsive documents that have been cleared for release. There are many new features available from this system. If you determine you need to submit a request to a participating agency, please consider creating an account to take advantage of the many features offered by FOIAonline, including modifying your request, communicating with the agency processing your request, and accessing responsive documents cleared for distribution all online, as well as presenting you with a dashboard indicating the status of your requests and the ability to file an appeal online. We hope you find FOIAonline to be a useful tool in accessing your government and the information of interest to you. Go to FOIAonline to access the site.Emily Barker
EPA Region 7
11201 Renner Blvd.
Lenexa, KS 66219