USGS Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Office
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a Federal statute which 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 FOIA.
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.
This site can help you determine if filing a FOIA request is the best option for you and help you create your request when you're ready.
Important DOI Links
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:
- be in writing (letter or either the via FOIAonline or FOIA.gov
- reasonably describe the records sought; and
- 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 Area, Region, and Science Center(s) that may possess the records that you are seeking. Emailed requests are not an acceptable form of submission per our regulations. Requests can be submitted online via FOIAonline or FOIA.gov or by mail.
If mailing a request, please send your request to:
P.O. Box 66783
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87193