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Laws & Regulations

Summary of the Freedom of Information Act

5 USC §552 et seq. (1966)

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a federal law that generally provides that any person has a right, enforceable in court, to obtain access to federal agency records. All federal agencies, including EPA, are required to make requested records available unless the records are protected from disclosure by one of nine FOIA exemptions contained in the statute.

The FOIA applies only to federal agencies. It does not apply to records held by Congress, the courts, or by state or local government agencies. Each state has its own public access laws that should be consulted for access to state and local records.

More Information

EPA has a National FOIA Office located at its headquarters in Washington, D.C. and ten Regional FOIA offices in major metropolitan areas across the country.