SAN DIEGO COUNTY AIR POLLUTION CONTROL DISTRICT


RULE 177. INSPECTION OF PUBLIC RECORDS

(a) It is the policy of the Air Pollution Control District that all records not exempted from disclosure by state law shall be open for public inspection with the least possible delay and expense to the requesting party.

(b) A request to inspect public records in the custody of the District need not be in any particular form, but it must describe the records with sufficient specificity to enable the District to identify the information sought. The District may require that a request to inspect be in writing.

(c) A request to inspect public records should be addressed to the Air Pollution Control Officer, Air Pollution Control District of San Diego County, 9150 Chesapeake Drive, San Diego, CA 92123.

(d) The District shall make available the records requested, with the exception of those records specifically exempted from disclosure by state law and those records labelled as "trade secret" which are not emission data, within ten (10) working days, of the date of receipt of the request therefore. If, for good cause, the information cannot be made available within ten (10) working days, the District will notify the requesting person the reasons for the delay and when the information will be available. Those records labelled as "trade secret" shall be governed by the procedure set forth in Subdivision (f) of this rule.

(e) Within five (5) working days of receipt of a request to inspect public records, the District shall advise the requesting person of the following facts when appropriate:

  1. The location at which the public records in question may be inspected, and the date of office hours during which they may be inspected.

  2. If copies of the public records are requested, the cost of providing such copies, if any.

  3. Which of the records requested, if any, have been labelled as "trade secret" and are not public records. In such a case, the District shall give the notice required by Subdivision (g) of this rule.

  4. The specific reason why the records cannot be made available, if such is the case. Reasons or unavailability may be, but are not limited to, the following: the records are exempt from disclosure by state law; the records cannot be identified from the information contained in the request; status not determined; the records do not exist; the District has determined pursuant to Section 6255 of the Government Code that on the facts of the particular case the public interest served by not making the record public clearly outweighs the public interest served by disclosure of the records; or the records in question are not in custody of the District. In the latter situation the District shall, if possible, notify the requesting party of the entity most likely to have custody of the records requested.

(f) Only those portions of records in the custody of the District which are not emission data and (1) were labelled "trade secret" prior to the adoption of this regulation, (2) are hereafter specifically labelled as "trade secret" pursuant to Rule 176(b), or (3) are received from a state or other local agency, including an air pollution control district, with a "trade secret" designation, shall be subject to the procedure set forth in the following Subdivision (g) of this rule. All other portions of such records shall be made available pursuant to Subdivisions (a) through (e) of this rule.

(g) When the District receives a request to inspect any records labelled with a "trade secret" designation which is not emission data, it shall promptly notify the requesting party that such record is designated a trade secret under Rule 176(b), and, if such is the case, under law it cannot be made available. The notification shall contain a copy of the justification of the request for confidentiality, and if the party requesting the record considers the justification inadequate, he may so advise the District in writing, setting forth his reasons.

Upon receipt of such advice, the Air Pollution Control Officer shall (1) promptly review in detail the justification, the challenge to the justification, and the record; (2) determine if the record is in its entirety a trade secret; and (3) promptly notify those persons affected of its decision in writing. If the Air Pollution Control Officer withholds the record from inspection, the person requesting it may seek judicial relief under Section 6528 of the Government Code. If the District determines that the record is in any significant part not a trade secret, the District shall send notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the person designating the information as a trade secret, with an additional notice that the record in question shall be released for inspection to the requesting party twenty-one days after receipt of the notice, unless the District is restrained from so doing by a court of competent jurisdiction.

Should the person designating the record as a trade secret seek protection in a court of law, the requesting party may be made a party to the litigation to justify his challenge to the designation.