Frequent Questions

What do you mean I can't see some of the information on this site; isn't it all publicly available?

In addition to the information you can find on the EPA Web site, you can inspect or obtain copies of publicly available material maintained by the EPA through public reading facilities in the Agency's headquarters and regional offices. All agency records must be made available to the public under the Federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) [see How to Make a Freedom of Information Act Request], except for records that are:

    • Properly classified as secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy;
    • Related solely to internal personnel rules and practices;
    • Specifically made confidential by other statutes;
    • Trade secrets and commercial or financial information which is obtained from a person and is privileged or confidential;
    • Inter-agency or intra-agency memoranda or letters, except under certain circumstances;
    • Personnel and medical files and similar files, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;
    • Records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, the release of which could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings, would deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or impartial adjudication, could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a confidential source, would disclose investigative techniques, and/or could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual;
    • Information contained in or related to certain examination, operating, or condition reports concerning financial institutions;
    • Certain information concerning gas or oil wells.


In addition, if any of these types of information may be reasonably segregated and deleted from any records, the EPA will make the remainder of that record available for inspection or copying, if it is not otherwise available.

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