SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY AIR POLLUTION CONTROL DISTRICT

RULE 112 - PUBLIC AVAILABILITY OF INFORMATION
(Revised 12/6/76)

A. PUBLIC RECORDS

  1. All information, analyses, plans or specifications that disclose the nature, extent, quantity or degree of air contaminants or other pollution which any article, machine, equipment or other contrivance will produce, which the District requires any applicant to provide before such applicant builds, erects, alters, replaces, operates, sells, rents, or uses such article, machine, equipment, or other contrivance, are public records.
  2. All air or other pollution monitoring data, including data compiled from stationary sources, are public records.
  3. Except as otherwise provided in Paragraph 4 of this Subsection A, trade secrets are not public records under this Rule. Trade secrets as used in this Rule may include, but are not limited to, any formula, plan, pattern, process, tool, mechanism, compounds, procedure, production data, or compilation of information which is not patented, which is known only to certain individuals within a commercial concern who are using it to fabricate, produce, or compound an article of trade or a service having commercial value, and which gives its user an opportunity to obtain a business advantage over competitors who do not know or use it.
  4. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, all air pollution emission data, including those emission data which constitute trade secrets as defined in paragraph 3, are public records. Data used to calculate emission data are not emission data for the purpose of this subdivision and data which constitute trade secrets and which are used to calculate emission data are not public records.

B. DISTRICT'S REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

  1. When requesting information for determining the amount of air contaminants from non-vehicular sources pursuant to Section 41511 or other sections of the Health and Safety Code or these Rules and Regulations, the District shall identify the information requested with sufficient specificity to enable the source operator or owner to identify the precise information sought. The District shall give notice in writing that the information provided may be released (1) to the public upon request, except trade secrets which are not emission data; (2) to the California Air Resources Board; and (3) to the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, which protects trade secrets as provided in Section 114(c) of the Clean Air Act, as amended in 1970 and in Code 40 of Federal Regulations, Chapter 1, Part 2.
  2. Any person from whom the District obtains any records, whether requested by the District or furnished by a person for some other reason, may label as "trade secret" any part of those records which are entitled to confidentiality under Section 6254.7 of the Government Code and Subsection A of this Rule. Written justification for the "trade secret" designation shall be furnished with the records so designated and the designation shall be a public record. The justification shall be as detailed as possible without disclosing the trade secret; the person may submit additional information to support the justification, which information, upon request, will be kept confidential in the same manner as the record sought to be protected.
  3. After preliminary review, the District may reject a justification as having inadequate merit, in which case the person making the justification shall be promptly notified in writing; the records in question shall, upon expiration of twenty-one (21) days from the date of the notice, be subject to public inspection unless a justification is received and accepted.

C. INSPECTION OF PUBLIC RECORDS - DISCLOSURE POLICY

It is the policy of the San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District that all District 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.

D. INSPECTION OF PUBLIC RECORDS - DISCLOSURE PROCEDURE

  1. 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 shall require that a request to inspect be in writing, and such a request shall include, but shall not be limited to the following:

    a. Name of applicant;

    b. Address and legal residence of applicant, if required for mailing purposes;

    c. Emission source of interest;

    d. Date or period of emissions of interest.

  2. The District shall make available the records requested, with the exception of those records specifically exempted from disclosure by State law and those records labeled pursuant to Subsection B as "trade secrets" 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 cannotbe 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 labeled as "trade secrets" shall be governed by the procedure set forth in Subsection E.
     
     
  3. 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:

    a. The location at which the public records in question may be inspected and the data and office hours during which they may be inspected.

    b. If copies of the public records are requested, the cost of providing such copies.

    c. Which of the records requested, if any, have been labeled pursuant to Subsection B as "trade secret" and are not public records. In such a case, the District shall give the notice required by Subsection E.2.

    d. The specific reason why the records cannot be made available, if such is the case. Reasons for 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; 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.

E. TRADE SECRETS

  1. Only those portions of records in the custody of the District which are not emission data and (1) were labeled "trade secret" prior to the adoption of this Regulation; or (2) are hereafter specifically labeled as "trade secret" pursuant to Subsection B.2. shall be subject to the procedure set forth in this Rule. All other portions of such records shall be made available pursuant to Subsection D.
  2. When the District receives a request to inspect any record so labeled which is not emission data, it shall promptly notify the requesting party that, (1) such record is designated a trade secret under Subsection B.2 and, if such is the case, under law it cannot be made available; (2) the district has not determined if it is a trade secret, but the justification of the request for confidentiality is enclosed; and (3) if the requesting party considers the justification inadequate, he may so advise the District in writing, setting forth his reasons.
  3. Upon receipt of such advice, the District 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(s); and (3) promptly notify those persons affected of its decision in writing. If the District withholds the record from inspection, the person requesting it may seek judicial relief under Section 6258 of the Government Code. If the District determines that the record is in any significant part not a trade secret, the District shall send the notice required by this Regulation 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 (21) days after receipt of the notice, unless the District is restrained from so doing by the court of competent jurisdiction.
  4. 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.