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(8) Contained in or related to exami. nation, operating, or condition reports prepared by, on behalf of, or for the use of an agency responsible for the regulation or supervision of finanical institutions; or
(9) Geological and geophysical information and data, including maps, concerning wells.
(b) The fact that the applicability of an exemption permits the withholding of a requested record (or portion thereof) does not necessarily mean that the record must or should be withheld. See 2.119. (41 FR 36902, Sept. 1, 1976, as amended at 43 FR 40000, Sept. 8, 1978; 53 FR 217, Jan. 5, 1988)
82.119 Discretionary release of exempt
documents. (a) An EPA office may, in its discretion, release requested records despite the applicability of one or more of the exemptions listed in $ 2.118 (a)(2), (a)(5), or (a)(7). Disclosure of such records is encouraged if no important purpose would be served by withholding the records.
(b) As a matter of policy, EPA will not release a requested record if EPA has determined that one or more of the exemptions listed in g 2.118(a) (1), (3), (4), (6), (8), or (9), applies to the record, except when ordered to do so by a Federal court or in exceptional circumstances under appropriate restrictions with the approval of the Office of General Counsel or a Regional Counsel.
the record to determine whether it should be disclosed and for the cost of each page of duplication. Commercial use requesters should note that EPA also may charge fees to them for time spent searching for and/or reviewing records, even if EPA fails to locate the records or if the records located are determined to be exempt from disclosure.
(il) Requests from an educational or non-commercial scientific institution whose purpose is scholarly or scientif. ic research, involving a request which is not for a commercial use and seeks disclosure of records. In the case of such a request, the requester shall be charged only for the duplication cost of the records, except that the first 100 pages of duplication shall be furnished without charge.
(iii) Requests from a representative of the news media, involving a request which is not for a commercial use and seeks disclosure of records. In the case of such a request, the requester shall be charged only for the duplication cost of the records, except that the first 100 pages of duplication shall be furnished without charge.
(iv) All other requests. If the request seeks disclosure of records other than as described in paragraphs (a)(1) (1), (il), and (iii) of this section, the requester shall be charged the full cost of search and duplication. However, the first two hours of search time (or its cost equivalent) and the first 100 pages of duplication (or their cost equivalent) shall be furnished without charge. Requesters in the "all other requests" category should note that EPA also may charge fees to them for time spent searching for records, even if EPA fails to locate the records or if the records located are determined to be exempt from disclosure.
(2) The determination of a requester's fee category will be based on the following:
(1) Commercial use requesters: The use to which the requester will put the documents requested;
(ii) Educational and non-commercial scientific institution requestors: Identity of the requester and the use to which the requestor will put the documents requested;
8 2.120 Fees; payment; waiver.
(a) Fee schedule. Requesters shall be charged the full allowable direct costs incurred by the Agency in responding to a FOIA request. However, if EPA uses a contractor to search for, reproduce or disseminate records responsive to a request, the cost to the requester shall not exceed the cost of the Agency itself performing the service.
(1) There are four categories of requests. Fees for each of the categories will be charged as follows:
(1) Commercial use requests. If the request seeks disclosure of records for a commercial use, the requester shall be charged for the time spent searching for the requested record, reviewing
(i) Representatives of the news media requesters: The identity of the requester and the use to which the requestor will put the documents requested.
(3) Fees will be charged to requesters, as appropriate, for search, duplication and review of requested records in accordance with the following schedule:
(1) Manual search for records.
(A) EPA Employees: For each 42 hour or portion thereof:
(1) GS-8 and below: $4.00.
(B) Contractor employees: The requestor will be charged for actual charges up to but not exceeding the rate which would have been charged had EPA employees conducted the search.
(ii) Computer search for records charges will consist of:
(A) EPA employee operators: For each 42 hour or portion thereof:
(1) GS-8 and below: $4.00.
(B) Contractor operators: Requestors will be charged for the actual charges up to but not exceeding the rate which would have been charged had EPA employees conducted the search (see paragraph (a)(3)(1)(A) of this section), plus.
(C) Actual computer resource usage charges for this search.
(iii) Review of records. For each 42 hour or portion thereof (EPA employees):
(A) GS-8 and below: $4.00.
(iv) Duplication or reproduction of records.
(A) Duplication or reproduction of documents by EPA employees (paper copy of paper original): $.15 per page.
(B) Computer printouts (other than those calculated in a direct-cost billing-see paragraph (a)(3)(ii) of this section "Computer search for records”) $.15 per page.
(C) Other methods of duplication or reproduction, including, but not limited to, duplication of photographs, microfilm and magnetic tape, will be charged at the actual direct cost to EPA.
(4) Other charges.
(1) Other charges incurred in responding to a request including but not limited to, special handling or transportation of records, will be charged at the actual direct cost to EPA.
(ii) Certification or authentication of records: $25.00 per certification or authentication.
(5) No charge shall be made
(i) For the cost of preparing or reviewing letters of response to a request or appeal;
(i) For time spent resolving legal or policy issues concerning the application of exemptions;
(ill) For search time and the first 100 pages of duplication for requests described in g 2.120(a)(1) (ii) and (iii) of this section;
(iv) For the first two hours of search time (or its cost equivalent) and for the first 100 pages of duplication for requests described in $ 2.120(a)(1)(iv) of this section;
(V) If the total fee in connection with a request is less than $25.00, or if the costs of collecting the fee would otherwise exceed the amount of the fee. However, when EPA reasonably believes that a requester or group of requesters is attempting to break a request down into a series of requests for the purpose of avoiding the assessment of fees, EPA will aggregate such requests to determine the total fee, and will charge accordingly;
(vi) For responding to a request by an individual for one copy of a record retrievable by the requesting individual's name or personal identifier from a Privacy Act system of records;
(vii) For furnishing records requested by either House of Congress, or by a duly authorized committee or subcommittee of Congress, unless the records are requested for the benefit of an individual Member of Congress or for a constituent;
(viii) For furnishing records requested by and for the official use of other Federal agencies; or
(ix) For furnishing records needed by an EPA contractor, subcontractor, or grantee to perform the work required by the EPA contract or grant.
(b) Method of payment. All fee payments shall be in the form of a check or money order payable to the “U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency" section. In such cases, the EPA office and shall be sent (accompanied by a will promptly inform the requester (by reference to the pertinent Request telephone it practicable) of the need Identification Number(s)) to the ap to make assurance of payment. propriate Headquarters or Regional (2) An EPA office may not require a Office lock box address:
requester to make an advance pay. (1) EPA-Washington Headquarters, ment, i.e. payment before work is comP.O. Box 360277M, Pittsburgh, PA menced or continued on a request, 15251;
unless: (2) EPA-Region 1, P.O. Box
(1) A requester has previously failed 360197M, Pittsburgh, PA 15251;
to pay a fee charged in a timely fash(3) EPA-Region 2, P.O. Box
ion (i.e., within 30 days after the date 360188M, Pittsburgh, PA 15251;
of the billing), or (4) HPA-Region 3, P.O. Box
(i) The EPA office estimates or de360515M, Pittsburgh, PA 15251;
termines that the allowable charges (5) EPA-Region 4, P.O. Box 100142,
that a requester may be required to Atlanta, GA. 30384; (6) EPA-Region 5, P.O. Box 70753,
pay are likely to exceed $250.00. Then
the EPA office will notify the requestChicago, IL 60673; (7) EPA-Region 6, P.O. Box
er of the likely cost and obtain satis360582M, Pittsburgh, PA 15251;
factory assurance of full payment
where the requester has a history of (8) EPA-Region 7, P.O. Box 360748M, Pittsburgh, PA 15251;
prompt payment of FOIA fees, or re(9) EPA-Region 8, P.O. Box
quire an advance payment of
amount up to the full estimated 360859M, Pittsburgh, PA 15251; (10) EPA-Region 9, P.O. Box
charges in the case of requesters with 360863M, Pittsburgh, PA 15251;
no history of payment. If such ad(11) EPA-Region 10, P.O. Box
vance payment is not received within 360903M, Pittsburgh, PA 15251;
30 days after EPA's billing, the re
quest will not be processed and the reUnder the Debt Collection Act of
quest will be closed. See also 1982 (Pub. L. 97-365), payment (except
$ 2.112(d). for prepayment) shall be due within
(d) Reduction or waiver of fee. (1) thirty (30) calendar days after the
The fee chargeable under this section date of billing. If payment is not re
shall be reduced or waived by EPA if ceived at the end of thirty calendar days, interest and a late payment han.
the Agency determines that disclosure
of the information: dling charge will be assessed. In addition, under this Act, a penalty charge
(i) Is in the public interest because it will be applied on any principal
is likely to contribute significantly to amount not paid within ninety (90)
public understanding of the operations calendar days after the due date for
or activities of the government; and payment. By the authority of the
(ii) Is not primarily in the commerDebt Collection Act of 1982, delin
cial interest of the requestor. quent amounts due may be collected (2) Both of these requirements must through administrative offset or re
be satisfied before fees properly asferred to private collection agencies.
sessable can be waived or reduced. Information related to delinquent ac (3) The Agency will employ the folcounts may also be reported to the ap lowing four factors in determining propriate credit agencies.
whether the first requirement has (c) Assurance of payment. (1) If an
been met: EPA office estimates that the fees for (i) The subject of the request: processing a request (or aggregated re Whether the subject of the requested quests as described in $ 2.120(a)(5)(vi) records concerns "the operations or of this section) will exceed $25.00, that activities of the government”; office need not search for, duplicate or (ii) The informative value of the indisclose records in response to the formation to be disclosed: Whether request(s) until the requester assures the disclosure is "likely to contribute payment of the total amount of fees to an understanding of government estimated to become due under this operations or activities”;
(ili) The contribution to an under. standing of the subject by the general public likely to result from disclosure: Whether disclosure of the requested information will contribute to "public understanding"; and
(iv) The significance of the contribution to public understanding: Whether disclosure is likely to contribute "significantly" to public understanding of government operations or activities.
(4) The Agency will employ the following factors in determining whether the second requirement has been met:
(i) The existence and magnitude of a commercial interest: Whether the requester has a commercial interest that would be furthered by the requested disclosure; and, if so
(il) The primary interest in disclosure: Whether the magnitude of the identified commercial interest of the requester is sufficiently large, in comparison with the public interest in disclosure, that disclosure is "primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.”
(5) In all cases, the burden shall be on the requester to present information in support of a request for a waiver of fees. A request for reduction or waiver of fees should include:
(i) A clear statement of the requester's interest in the requested docu. ments;
(ii) The use proposed for the documents and whether the requester will derive income or other benefit from such use;
(iii) A statement of how the public will benefit from such use and from the release of the requested documents; and
(iv) If specialized use of the documents or information is contemplated, a statement of the requester's qualifications that are relevant to the specialized use.
(6) A request for reduction or waiver of fees shall be addressed to the appropriate Freedom of Information Officer. The requester shall be informed in writing of the Agency's decision whether to grant or deny the fee waiver or fee reduction request. This decision may be appealed by letter addressed to the EPA Freedom of Information Officer. The General Counsel shall decide such appeals. The Gener
al Counsel may redelegate this authority only to the Deputy General Counsel or the Associate General Counsel for Grants, Contracts and General Law.
(e) The Financial Management Office shall maintain a record of all fees charged requesters for searching for, reviewing and reproducing requested records under this section. U after the end of 60 calendar days from the date on which request for payment was made the requester has not submitted payment to the appropriate EPA billing address (as listed in $ 2.120(b)), the Financial Management Division shall place the requester's name on a delinquent list which is sent to the EPA Freedom of Information Officer. If a requester whose name appears on the delinquent list makes a request under this part, the EPA Freedom of Information Officer shall inform the requester that EPA will not process the request until the requester submits payment of the overdue fee from the earlier request. Any request made by an individual who specifies an affiliation with or representation of a corporation, association, law firm, or other organization shall be deemed to be a request by the corporation, association, law firm, or other organization. If an organization placed on the delinquent list can show that the person who made the request for which payment was overdue did not make the request on behalf of the organization the organization will be removed from the delinquent list but the name of the individual shall remain on the list. A requester shall not be placed on the delinquent list if a request for a reduction or for a waiver is pending under paragraph (d) of this section.
(53 FR 217, Jan. 5, 1988)
8 2.121 Exclusions.
(a) Whenever a request is made which involves access to records de. scribed in $ 2.118(a)(7)(1)(A), and
(1) The investigation or proceeding involves a possible violation of crimi. nal law; and
(2) There is reason to believe that the subject of the investigation or proceeding is not aware of its pendency,
(d) “Affected business" means, with reference to an item of business information, a business which has asserted (and not waived or withdrawn) a business confidentiality claim covering the information, or a business which could be expected to make such a claim if it were aware that disclosure of the in. formation to the public was proposed.
(e) “Reasons of business confidentiality" include the concept of trade secrecy and other related legal concepts which give (or may give) a business the right to preserve the confidentiality of business information and to limit its use or disclosure by others in order that the business may obtain or retain business advantages it derives from its rights in the information. The definition is meant to encompass any concept which authorizes a Federal agency to withhold business information under 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4), as well as any concept which requires EPA to withhold information from the public for the benefit of a business under 18 U.S.C. 1905 or any of the various statutes cited in $ 2.301 through $ 2.309.
(g) Information which is "available to the public" is information in EPA's possession which EPA will furnish to any member of the public upon request and which EPA may make public, release or otherwise make available to any person whether or not its disclosure has been requested.
(h) “Business confidentiality claim" (or, simply, "claim") means a claim or allegation that business information is entitled to confidential treatment for reasons of business confidentiality, or a request for a determination that such information is entitled to such treatment.
(i) “Voluntarily submitted information" means business information in EPA's possession
(1) The submission of which EPA had no statutory or contractual authority to require; and
(2) The submission of which was not prescribed by statute or regulation as a condition of obtaining some benefit (or avoiding some disadvantage) under a regulatory program of general applicability, including such regulatory programs as permit, licensing, registra
and disclosure of the existence of such records could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings, EPA shall, during only such time as the circumstances continue, treat the records as not subject to the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552 and this subpart.
(b) Whenever informant records maintained by the Agency under an informant's name or personal identifier are requested by a third party according to the informant's name or personal identifier and the informant's status as an informant has not been officially confirmed, EPA shall treat the records as not subject to the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552 and this subpart.
(c) No determination relying on this section shall be issued without the concurrence of the General Counsel or his designee. The General Counsel has designated the Contracts and Information Law Branch to act on these requests for concurrence.
(d) An initial determination which only relies on this section will not include notice of appeal rights. (53 FR 219, Jan. 5, 1988)
Subpart B-Confidentiality of
8 2.201 Definitions.
For the purposes of this subpart:
(a) “Person" means an individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other public or private organization or legal entity, including Federal, State or local governmental bodies and agencies and their employees.
(b) “Business” means any person engaged in a business, trade, employment, calling or profession, whether or not all or any part of the net earnings derived from such engagement by such person inure (or may lawfuily inure) to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.
(c) “Business information" (sometimes referred to simply as “information") means any information which pertains to the interests of any business, which was developed or acquired by that business, and (except where the context otherwise requires) which is possessed by EPA in recorded form.