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Freedom of Information Act

My Property Info

Under the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552 (PDF, 18pp, 79K About PDF), the public may 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.

The federal FOIA does not provide access to records held by state or local government agencies, or by businesses or individuals. States have their own statutes governing public access to state and local records and they should be consulted for further information about them.

FOIA requests for EPA records

How do I submit a FOIA request?

You have several ways to submit your FOIA request for records in the possession of EPA's Region 5 office. EPA Region 5's holdings contain only environment-related information regarding the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. If your request does not meet these criteria, but you do not know where to obtain the information you desire, please email us at r5foia@epa.gov and we will do our best to assist you.

Questions? Call the Freedom of Information hotline at 312-353-8559.

What do I need to include in my request?

How soon will I get a response?

Federal agencies are required to respond to a FOIA request within twenty working days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays. The twenty-day period does not begin until the request is received by the Agency and identify the records you are seeking and have an agreement to pay fees or a fee waiver has been granted.

The Agency may extend the response time for an additional ten working days when:

When an extension is needed, EPA will notify you and offer you the opportunity to modify or limit your request. Alternatively, you may agree to a different timetable for the processing of your request.

What will it cost?

Your request should also include a statement regarding your willingness to pay statutory fees for the information requested. In accordance with the EPA's revised FOIA regulations (40 CFR 2.100, et. seq.), the fee schedule is as follows:

EPA may determine to waive or reduce fees in cases where furnishing the information primarily benefits the general public by significantly assisting citizens in understanding how their government works. You should submit requests for waiver or reduction of fees along with the requests for records under the FOIA. Please include in any waiver request relevant facts or arguments which might support the request.

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