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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.

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 or via
  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. Emailed requests are not an acceptable form of submission per our regulations.  Requests can be submitted online via or or by mail.  

If mailing a request, please send your request to: 


P.O. Box 66783

Albuquerque, New Mexico 87193