How long will it take to process my Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request?

The USGS uses a multi-track processing system. We distinguish simple requests from more complex ones based on the estimated number of workdays needed to process the request. Factors include the number of pages involved in processing the request and the need for consultations with other federal agencies.

Requests within each track are processed and responded to on a first-in/first-out basis:

  • Expedited - requests that have been granted expedited processing. These will be processed as soon as practicable.

  • Simple - requests requiring little or no search, review, or analysis. These can be processed in one to five workdays.

  • Normal - These are usually processed in six to twenty workdays.

  • Complex - requests that involve the entire contents of a case file, or that require extensive search, review, referral, consultation, and analysis. These can be processed in twenty-one to sixty workdays.

  • Exceptional/Voluminous - requests requiring more than sixty workdays for processing. These involve very complex processing challenges that might include a large number of records. In these cases, we attempt to provide interim responses to requesters on a rolling basis.

For additional information, please send an email to foia@usgs.gov.

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When should I use a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to request information?

All USGS products and publications are in the public domain. Most are readily available for free download on our website. Before launching a potentially time-consuming Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, make sure that the information you need cannot be easily obtained by immediate means. Visit the USGS website , explore our FOIA Reading...

How do I request information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)?

There are several ways to submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request: Submit a request through the National FOIA Portal . Use the Department of the Interior’s FOIA Request Form . Email your request to foia@usgs.gov . Put “Freedom of Information Act Request” in the subject line. Write a letter to the USGS FOIA Office using one of the...

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Is there a cost for obtaining federal records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)?

By law, the USGS is authorized to charge Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) processing fees to requesters in order to recover the direct costs of search, review, and duplication of requested records. The fees depend on the requester category into which you fall. If the total costs of supplying the requested information is less than $50, the USGS...

Can I ask that any Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) processing fees be waived?

Yes, you can request a waiver of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) processing fees. Under the FOIA, fee waivers are limited to situations in which a requester can show that the disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations and activities...

Is a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request confidential? Does my identity impact the results?

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Graphic - Archives

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Records Preservation

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...
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April 1, 2008

On File at the Field Records Collection

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Clock Tower

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Archived samples splits in the National Geochemical Sample Archive

Stacks of organized boxes containing trays of archived samples splits in the National Geochemical Sample Archive, Denver, CO.