How to Informally Request Information or Records from DEP
Before filing a Right to Know Law request, consider using the Environmental Site Assessment Search tool or requesting a file review first.
DEP has extensive public information either readily available on the DEP's website or located at more then 20 offices throughout the Commonwealth. It is easy to access this information often times without filing a Right-To-Know Law (RTKL) request. DEP now offers streamlined alternatives to a Right-To-Know request that are easier to submit and result in quicker turnaround time. Before filing a Right-To-Know request, strongly consider using one of the following options:
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 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 or Right-To-Know request.
The Informal File Review is a simple, electronic form allowing consultants to request information maintained by DEP for specific areas of interest such as programs, sites, permits, and/or time frames. Informal File Reviews may be submitted stand-alone if enough information is known by the consultant or may be used in conjunction with the Environmental Site Assessment Tool to create a targeted request based on the results of an assessment search. Documentation that is reviewed/copied during a file review generally does not differ in quality or quantity from a RTKL request. Also, a file review does not preclude an individual from subsequently filing a RTKL request.
The extensive range of records DEP routinely provides access to for public inspection include: notifications, inspection reports, notices of violation, enforcement orders, applications, permit review letters, sample results, remediation plans, progress reports, monitoring reports, permits, approvals, denials, public comments, civil penalty assessments, consent orders, closure reports, pollution prevention plans, monitoring well records, and external correspondence. Personal identification information within these records will be made available to the public unless the person providing that information requests that it be treated as confidential. Documents that are exempted as public records under the RTKL are also not available for inspection during a file review.
Field Programs List - Listing of Programs and their Locations
- General questions on programs, issues and other matters of environmental interest.
- Information related to press releases, advisories, alerts, and more.
- Information related to proposed DEP regulations, policies, proposals open for public comment, final published documents and environmental legislation now in the General Assembly.
- Information related to permit issuance, inspections, pollution prevention visits on specific companies you can often find what you need on Efacts.