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Records Requests from DEQ: FAQ
Oregon's Public Records Law (OAR 340-011-0310 - 0390) ensures that governmental operations are open and above-board. We strive to make sure that any interested party may receive any and all the public documents and records they require from DEQ.The following Q and A addresses how to request public records, what it may cost, and how DEQ responds to such requests.
The records you're looking for may already be available online. Look around DEQ Online and you may find what you need. Try DEQ's Databases, GIS and Mapping Applications, and Online Reporting web page.
If the records you want are not online, fill out the records request form. This form must be filled out for all public records requests. It is a fairly simple Adobe Acrobat PDF form that asks for your contact information and what records you're looking for. Please be as specific as possible about your request so we can make sure to get everything you need.
About the form
Fill out the form as completely as possible. If you don't know what DEQ program you're requesting records from, you can skip the checkboxes in that section. If, however, you are requesting on behalf of a law firm or in response to a public notice, please make sure to check the applicable box(es) so that your request is routed to the right people. It will greatly speed up the time it takes to process your request.
To submit your request
Desktop or Web-based?
You should immediately receive an e-mail from DEQ acknowledging that we have received your request. Your request will then be routed to people in the appropriate department or work group, who will locate the records you seek and figure out the fee, if any. We will then contact you, using the contact information you've provided on the form, to discuss the estimated fee (if any) and coordinate production of the files you're requesting.
While it is part of DEQ's mission to respond to all records requests as quickly and transparently as possible, file retrieval and reproduction potentially takes time and resources away from our primary mission of protecting and enhancing Oregon's land, air and water. We do not charge for requests that take less than 15 minutes to process, but we are still required to track all records requests.
There are three circumstances in which you may receive one free copy of a DEQ record:
If the records you request take less than 15 minutes for DEQ staff to locate, DEQ will absorb the cost of duplication and mailing. If the request requires more than 15 minutes of staff time, and reproduction cost is over $25, DEQ staff will respond with an estimate of time and cost within 10 business days of receiving your request. Our current rates are as follows:
You must pay the estimated fee in advance if the estimate is greater than $1,000, or if you are from outside the State of Oregon. In all cases, DEQ may use its discretion in requiring prepayment for records requests.
Possibly. The state public records law (ORS 192.440(4) and (5)) says an agency may waive fees for providing records if the fee reduction is in the public interest because making the records available primarily benefits the general public. Fee waivers may be possible for news media, governmental entities and non-profit organizations.
Fill out a Fee Waiver/Reduction Request Form to apply for a fee waiver.
We may still charge a fee for the time or cost of record retrieval, if it takes more than 15 minutes.
We will work with you to reduce the cost by narrowing the scope of your request, and by arranging to provide record reviews at a local DEQ office instead of copying and mailing records to you. We will never charge you a records fee over $25 before discussing it with you in advance.
We accept checks, money orders and cash. Although we are unable to accept credit card payments online at this time, the DEQ Revenue section can accept credit/debit card (Visa/MasterCard only) payments whenever prepayment (i.e., an in-state request for services estimated to exceed $1,000 or any out-of-state request) is required or the request is made by a federal/local/state government organization. A signed copy of the DEQ fee estimate and the DEQ credit card authorization form must be submitted to the DEQ Revenue section to initiate payment by credit/debit card.
We strive to make our response time as short as possible. We expect to contact you directly regarding your request within 10 days.
You can read the official Oregon law.
The Oregon Department of Justice guidelines for records requests and fee waivers can be found in the Public Records and Meetings Manual.
Why do I have to use this form? Why can't I just come to the DEQ office and have the records retrieved while I wait?
As an Oregon State agency we are required to keep track of every records request we receive, and DEQ's response to such requests. This form is our tool for meeting this requirement. Thus, if you go to a DEQ office and ask for records, we will work with you to fill out the form.