USGS Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Office

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The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a Federal statute that allows individuals to request access to federal agency records, except to the extent records are claimed as exempt from disclosure under one or more of the nine (9) exemptions of the Freedom of Information Act.

Submit a FOIA Request

Submit a FOIA Request

Before making a request, first see if the information is already publicly available. You can find a lot of useful information on our webpages. If the information is not publicly available, submit a FOIA request.

Submit Request

Check Status of Request

Check Status of Request

You can check the status of your request using the Department's on-line tracker or you can call or email us.

Check FOIA Status

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552, as amended, is based on the principle of openness in government and generally provides that any person has a right, enforceable in court, of access to Federal agency records, except to the extent that such records (or portions thereof) are protected from disclosure by one of nine exemptions or by one of three special law enforcement record exclusions. Under the spirit and provisions of the FOIA, Federal agencies are to make their records available to the public to the greatest extent possible.

Any individual, public or private organization/corporation, or foreign country may submit FOIA requests for a copy of U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) records. The request must: (1) be in writing (letter or either the DOI request form or the National FOIA Portal) or by e-mail to foia@usgs.gov; (2) reasonably describe the records sought; and (3) indicate a willingness to pay fees, (specify the amount they are willing to pay) or ask for a fee waiver.

Prior to submitting a FOIA request, research your subject and locate the appropriate Mission AreaRegion, and Science Center(s) that may possess the records that you are seeking.

If mailing a request, please mail your request to any one of the FOIA Team members listed on the Connect page.  You do not need to email a request and mail a paper copy to us, submitting a request by one of the available methods is sufficient.