40 CFR 1515.5 - Making a Freedom of Information Act request.
(a) Availability of records. The Council maintains a World Wide Web site, http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq, and an online Freedom of Information Act Requester Service Center (“Center”), http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq/foia. From the Center, a requester can find contact information regarding the CEQ's FOIA Public Liaison, as defined in Section 1515.4(b), and access CEQ's Online Reading Room where CEQ makes available records pertaining to matters within the scope of 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2), as amended, and environmental issues and other documents that, because of the nature of their subject matter, are likely to be the subject of FOIA requests. To save both time and money, CEQ strongly urges requesters to review documents currently available from the Center's Online Reading Room before submitting a request.
(b) Requesting information from the Council.
(1) Requesters must make a Freedom of Information Act request in writing. For quickest possible handling, it should be sent via e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org and must include in the subject line of the e-mail message: “Freedom of Information Act Request.” Written requests may also be faxed to (202) 456-0753 or addressed and mailed to: Council on Environmental Quality, Executive Office of the President, 722 Jackson Place NW., Washington, DC 20503. Requesters should mark both the request letter and the envelope “Freedom of Information Act Request” and include their name, address, and sufficient contact information to allow follow up regarding the scope and status of your request.
(2) The request should identify or reasonably describe the desired record. It should be as specific as possible, so that the item can be readily found. Blanket requests, such as requests for “all materials relating to” a specified subject are not recommended. Requesters should specify the preferred form or format (including electronic format) for the response. CEQ will accommodate such requests, if the record is readily reproducible in that form or format. Please be aware that FOIA requests and responses may themselves be made available for public inspection.
(3) The CEQ FOIA Officer is responsible for acting on all initial requests; however, he or she may consult and refer, pursuant to Section 552(a)(6)(B)(iii)(III) of the FOIA, with another agency if he or she determines that that agency is better able to act on the request. Whenever the CEQ FOIA Officer refers all or any part of the responsibility for responding to a request to another agency, he or she will notify the requester of the referral, the name of the agency and agency official to whom it has been referred, and which portion of the request has been referred. Unless a request is deemed “expedited” as set forth in Section 1515.7 below, the CEQ FOIA Officer will respond to requests in order of receipt. CEQ may use two or more processing tracks by distinguishing between simple and more complex requests based on the amount of time and work needed to process the request. CEQ may provide requesters on a slower track an opportunity to limit the scope of their request in order to qualify for faster processing.
(4) The Council will make a reasonable effort to assist with defining the request to eliminate extraneous and unwanted materials and to keep search and copying fees to a minimum. If budgetary constraints exist, the requester should indicate the maximum fee he or she is prepared to pay to acquire the information. (See also § 1515.11)
(5) The Freedom of Information Act does not require a government agency to create or research information; rather, it only requires that existing records be made available to the public.