Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

EPA's Region 6 Office

Serving: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and 66 Tribal Nations

Monday, October 1, 2012: FOIA Online is active FOIA Online

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) ~ Reading Room ~ Other FOIA Offices

Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas

How to Submit a FOIA Request ~ Online Request Form ~ Fee Schedule ~ FOIA Help

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Act

Top of Page

What is the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)? 
What is the Electronic FOIA Act (E-FOIA)? 
What is a FOIA Request? 
What Are Agency Records? 

What is the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)?

The Freedom of Information Act - "FOIA" or "the Act" is a law enacted in 1966 (5 U.S.C. 552).    Basically, the public or any individual has the right to know or be informed about activities, decisions and policies of U.S. Federal Agencies.  The Freedom of Information Act has played a unique role in strengthening our democratic form of government.  The statute was enacted based upon the fundamental principle that an informed citizenry is essential to the democratic process and that the more the American people know about their government the better they will be governed.  Openness in government is essential to accountability and the Act has become an integral part of that process.  EPA's regulations concerning implementation of FOIA are found in Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 2. 

What is the Electronic FOIA Act (E-FOIA)?

FOIA was significantly amended in 1996 (The Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments of 1996) to embrace the revolution in electronic data collection and communication.  Most records created as of November 1, 1996 must be made available online (if the Agency has on-line capability) or in another electronic format (i.e., CD-ROM or computer diskette).  Federal Agencies (including EPA) must create an index of material frequently requested under FOIA and must make that index available online by the end of 1999. 

What is a FOIA Request?

A FOIA request is a written request received by a Federal Agency from any individual or entity requesting records including databases in the possession or control of the agency.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has records and data pertaining to human health and the environment.  Letters, faxs and e-mails are all considered to be written requests. 

What are Agency Records?

"Record" means any EPA document, writing, photograph, sound or magnetic recording, drawing, computerized record (disk, database), electronic mail, EPA policies and decisions or anything in which information can be retrieved and/or copied. 

Fee Schedule

Top of Page

General Fee Information:

With certain specific exceptions authorized by the FOIA Reform Act of 1986, a fee will generally be charged when more than one-half staff hour of work is devoted to locating, reviewing and making available for inspection or copying records requested pursuant to the FOIA. These fees will recoup the full allowable direct costs incurred. In accordance with the EPA’s revised FOIA regulations (40 CFR 2.100, et. seq.), effective November 5, 2002, the Agency’s fees for processing requests have changed. The new fee schedule is as follows:

  • Clerical staff time billed at $4.00 per 15 minutes of search and/or review
  • Professional staff time billed at $7.00 per 15 minutes of search and/or review
  • Managers’ time billed at $10.25 per 15 minutes of search and/or review
  • No fee will be charged for services at or below $14.00
  • Assurance of payment of fees above $25.00 will be obtained from the requester before commencing any work
  • Advance payment of fees above $250 may be required by the Agency before commencing any work

The 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. Requests for waiver or reduction of fees should be submitted with the requests for records under the FOIA. Please include in any waiver request relevant facts or arguments which might support the request.

Fee Categories

Fees charged vary with the status or purpose of the requester.  Different fees are charged to commercial users, representatives of the news media, educational or noncommercial scientific institutions, and individuals. 

  Fees catergories are:

  • COMMERCIAL : $ 4.00, $ 7.00 or $10.25 per 1/4 hour for search & review; $0.15 per page for copies.
  • EDUCATIONAL: No search & review charge; $0.15 per page for copies (first 100 copies free).
  • NEWS MEDIA: No search & review charge; $0.15 per page for copies (first 100 copies free).
  • ALL OTHERS: No charge for review and first two hours of search; $ 4.00, $ 7.00 or $10.25 per 1/4 hour for search thereafter; $0.15 per page for copies (first 100 copies free).
Miscellaneous fees include: 
    Certification/authentication - $25.00 
    Other costs will be charged at the actual direct cost to EPA. 
Fee Waivers and Reductions

The Freedom of Information Reform Act of 1986 provides that documents shall be furnished without any charge or at a  reduced charge if disclosure of the information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to general public understanding of the operations or activities of the government and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester. 

A fee waiver or reduction of fees must be requested and justified by supporting documentation.  If you request a fee waiver, explain how the information will be used in the public interest and to what extent, if any, use of the information will be in your commercial interest.  Include statements on how you plan to disseminate the information, as well as your qualifications that are relevant to any specialized use of the documents. 

Other EPA FOIA Websites

Top of Page

Central EPA Headquarters FOIA Website.

Regional FOIA Websites: Most of the other nine Regional EPA Offices also have FOIA Websites.  Links are listed below. 


Top of Page

Can We Help You?

If you still have questions about FOIA in general or about a specific FOIA request, email EPA Region 6's Freedom of Information Officer (lane.leticia@epa.gov), or write to: 

Leticia Lane, FOIA Officer
U.S. EPA, Region 6
1445 Ross Avenue
Dallas, Texas 75202-2733
214-665-7202 (phone)

Jump to main content.