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Informal File Review

Information on Obtaining Documentation from DEP

DEP's websites offer a wealth of information about program areas, applicable laws and regulations, as well as DEP policies and reports. Through the agency's eFACTS system, a variety of information about regulated facilities is also available. Additional public information which is not available on DEP's websites, can be obtained by performing inquiries on the DEP Environmental Site Assessment Search Tool ,by scheduling an informal file review or by requesting specific documentation under the Pennsylvania Right to Know Law (RTKL). DEP recommends using the Environmental Site Assessment Search Tool or completing an informal file review form first as these are the easiest and quickest ways for the public to access DEP records.

DEP Environmental Site Assessment Search Tool

The Environmental Site Assessment Search Tool is a Geographical Information System (GIS) tool that allows consultants conducting Phase I environmental site assessments and interested members of the public access to access information maintained by DEP concerning permitting, licensing, inspection, compliance, discharges of pollution, regulated storage tanks, site remediation, and enforcement. Users can search for information regarding a specific target property and information about other properties of interest within a specified radius.  The results of the search may satisfy the needs of the assessment or can be used to create a more targeted Informal Request or Right-To-Know request. 

Informal File Review Scheduling Procedure

To schedule an informal file review, please complete this form.

You can also submit the completed form by fax, or mail to the applicable Regional Office location, Attention: Records Management.

If you wish to email the completed form, the email addresses for our regional offices are below.

  • Southeast (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia Counties)
  • Northeast (Carbon, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Northampton, Pike, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Wayne, Wyoming Counties)
  • South-central (Adams, Bedford, Berks, Blair, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Mifflin, Perry, York Counties)
  • North-central (Bradford, Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Union Counties)
  • Southwest (Allegheny, Beaver, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Somerset, Washington, Westmoreland Counties)
  • Northwest (Armstrong, Butler, Clarion, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Indiana, Jefferson, Lawrence, McKean, Mercer, Venango, Warren Counties)

Payment must be made by check or money order payable to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. After requesting an appointment you will receive confirmation and given the next available appointment date. All appointments are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Informal file reviews are scheduled between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Appointments are generally scheduled in half-day and full-day sessions, hours can vary depending on office location.

Note: To be courteous and fair to other members of the public who are also attempting to schedule informal file reviews, the Department asks that Requesters who are unable to keep a scheduled appointment notify the Regional Office location directly via phone or email at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled appointment. DEP receives multiple requests to review records on a daily basis. In the event a Requester fails to arrive on-time, or is a no-show on a recurring basis (minimum of three occurrences) it is in the sole discretion of the Department to suspend a Requestor's privilege to informally access records for a specified amount of time.

Records Available for Review

Records available under an informal file review include notifications, inspection reports, notices of violations, enforcement orders, applications, permit review letters, sample results, remediation plans, approvals, denials, pollution prevention plans and external correspondence. Internal email correspondence and records considered privileged (attorney-client, attorney work product or other privilege) or records otherwise considered confidential are not available under an informal file review.

FAQ: What to Expect at your DEP Records Review Session

  • Outside of equipment that is useful in the duplication of records (Laptops, Tablets, Fax Machines, Scanners, Copiers, Staplers, etc.) DEP asks that Requesters bring only belongings that they can carry on their person.
  • DEP asks that you refrain from bringing large bags, cameras, using video and audio equipment/capabilities of smart phones, boxes, or food and drink. DEP staff reserves the right to terminate the records review session at any time if a Requester is in violation of our requests.
  • If you wish to bring your own scanner/copier, electrical outlets are available.
  • A copier is made available for you to make any applicable copies. Instructions will be given on the copy equipment. These copies cost 15 cents per page.
  • Some records may be available only on microfiche, aperture cards, CDs, or maps.
  • Payment must be made by check or money order payable to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Copies will not be released without payment. DEP does not accept credit cards.
  • DEP does not research or generate reports.
  • DEP cannot guarantee that a technical person will be available to answer any of your questions, but will try to assist you.