- Do You Need to Submit a Formal Open Records Request?
- How to Submit an Open Records Request
- How to Obtain Certified Copies of Documents
- Electronic Data
- The Public Information Act
- TCEQ Public Information Officer
- TCEQ Public Information Act Request Procedures
- Exceptions to the Public Information Act
- Questions and Comments [for Open Records]
- Search TCEQ Data
Do You Need to Submit a Formal Open Records Request?
If you want to simply view or obtain copies of agency records which are filed in TCEQ's Central File Room (CFR), a formal Open Records Request is not necessary. You may contact the Central File Room (512/239-2900).
If you need assistance identifying records maintained by the central file room, contact the Central File Room. The TCEQ organizes its files by permit number and facility name. Providing this information will make it easier for us to quickly respond to your request. Be as specific as possible about the information you are seeking.
How to Submit an Open Records Request
If your request is for any and all documents, pending applications, ongoing compliance or enforcement actions, or records not available in TCEQ's Central File Room (CFR), please review and select one of the options below. Once an Open Records Request is placed, it is not necessary to request records through the Central File Room (CFR).
- Submit an Electronic Open Records Request Form online; or
- Download and fill out this Open Records Request Form to e-mail to email@example.com or fax to 512/239-OPEN (6736); or
Print out this Open Records Request Form for a written request and fax to 512/239-OPEN (6736) or mail to:
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
Attn: Public Information Officer, MC 197
P.O. Box 13087
Austin, Texas 78711-3087
- TCEQ accepts Open Records Requests in any legible format. The forms referenced above are intended to be a guide to help expedite requests.
As custodian of records, the public information officer is also responsible for the certification of TCEQ documents. Certified copies of documents can be requested at the Central File Room. They can be requested in person, by phone, or by written request (including fax) in accordance with the following procedure:
- Request certified copies from file room;
- The file room will coordinate having the certified copies made;
- There is a 50-cent charge for each certification prepared.
Documents cannot be removed from TCEQ premises prior to certification. If a certification is being requested of documents located at a TCEQ regional office, the request for certification must be coordinated through the public information officer in Austin.
The agency's charges for copies are based on the schedule recommended by the Office of the Attorney General. The TCEQ Copy Services Center (512/239-2950) will assist you in determining any copying cost incurred. View the fee schedule.
If you want free data that is downloadable that you can import into your own electronic format (excel, databases, etc.), please see Types of Data and Reports.
The TCEQ maintains many electronic databases. If you are looking for information from a database, you may wish to contact the Open Records and Reporting Services Unit of the Information Resources Division at 512/239-3282. There are charges for special orders of data provided by TCEQ staff.
Under Texas law, each person is entitled to complete information about the affairs of government and the official acts of public officials and employees at all times, unless otherwise expressly provided by law.
"Public information" means information that is collected, assembled, or maintained under a law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business: (1) by a governmental body; or (2) for a governmental body and the governmental body owns the information or has a right of access to it. The term is defined in Government Code Section 552.002.
The TCEQ is committed to upholding the Public Information Act (PIA) and to ensuring public access to its records. All agency staff are obligated to abide by the TCEQ's Operating Policy and Procedure (Requests for Public Information ) regarding requests for information under the Texas Public Information Act.
For purposes of this subchapter, a written request includes a request made in writing that is sent to the office of public information, or the person designated by that officer, by electronic mail or facsimile transmission.
The executive director of the TCEQ, as the chief administrative officer for the agency, is the public information officer (PIO). The executive director has designated the customer services center manager to act on his behalf as public information officer.
Duties of the public information officer include:
- Making public information available for public inspection and copying.
- Carefully protecting public information from deterioration, alteration, mutilation, loss, or unlawful removal.
- Repairing, renovating, or rebinding public information as necessary to maintain it properly.
- Providing certification of TCEQ documents as true agency records
TCEQ's Operating Policy and Procedure (Requests for Public Information ) defines the procedure.
If a customer wants their request to be handled under the provisions of the Public Information Act, the request must be submitted in writing. If the TCEQ wishes to withhold public information, state law requires the agency to seek a ruling from the attorney general within ten business days of receipt of the written request. In addition, if the agency cannot produce the requested public information within ten business days, the agency must respond in writing to the requestor stating that fact and setting a reasonable time when the information will be available for inspection or duplication. Thus, it is TCEQ policy to respond to all requests for public information within ten business days.
All TCEQ records are available for public view unless one of the exceptions to disclosure listed in the Public Information Act applies. Subchapter C of Government Code Chapter 552 - Public Information lists the exceptions. Some types of information that may be kept confidential include:
- private, personal information such as certain financial or medical information;
- certain law enforcement information, which may include the identity of informers;
- some information related to ongoing litigation;
- home addresses and phone numbers of local government officials or employees.
Please contact the agency's public information officer by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 512/239-0800, fax at 239-OPEN (6736), or at the mailing address above with any requests, questions, or comments on access to records or information.