Frequently Asked Questions about Accessing Public Records Maintained by ARB
This page last reviewed October 19, 2015
are Public Records?
- How Can I Make a Request for Public
- How Long does it Take to Reply to a
Public Records Request?
- What Will ARB's Response to a Records
- When May Public Records Be
- Is There Any Fee Involved?
- What Records are Not Open for Inspection?
- What if I Wish to Challenge the ARB's
Determination Not to Disclose Records?
- How Do I Obtain a Form 700--Statement of
- Does the ARB have Sample Letter for
Making Public Records Requests?
- How is ARB in Compliance with the Govt. Modernization, Efficiency, Accountability & Transparency Act?
'Writing' means handwriting, typewriting, printing, Photostatting, photography, and every other means of recording upon any form of communication or representation, including letters, words, pictures, sounds, or symbols or any combination thereof, and all papers, maps, magnetic or paper tapes, photographic films and prints, magnetic or punched cards, discs, drums and other documents.
'Member of the public' means any person, except a member, agency, officer, or employee of a federal, state, or local agency acting within the scope of his or her membership, agency, office, or employment.
If you wish to make a public records request in person, please contact our Public Records Coordinator at 916-322-2884 upon your arrival at the Cal/EPA Visitor Center. Our Public Records Coordinator is available to take your request during normal ARB office hours, 8:30 am until 4:30 pm Monday through Friday, excluding state holidays.
In balancing the public's right to access public records with the recognized individual right of privacy and the need for the ARB to be able to competently perform its duties, the Legislature has established certain categories of records which may be exempt from public disclosure.
A complete list of statutory exemptions is found in the California Public Records Act, Government Code Section 6254 and following. Categories of records that ARB is not required to produce records include:
drafts, notes, or inter-agency or
intra-agency memoranda which are not retained by the ARB in the
of business, provided that the public interest in withholding such
clearly outweighs the public interest in disclosure;
pertaining to pending litigation to
which the ARB is a party, or to claims made pursuant to Division 3.6
(commencing with Section 810) until such litigation or claim has been
adjudicated or otherwise settled;
medical, or similar files, the
disclosure of which would constitute an unwarranted invasion of
and geophysical data, plant
production data and similar information relating to utility systems
development, or market or crop reports, which are obtained in
of complaints to or investigations
conducted by the ARB for law enforcement or licensing purposes;
questions, scoring keys, and other
examination data used to administer a licensing examination,
employment, or academic examination;
of which the disclosure is exempt or
prohibited pursuant to provisions of federal or state law, including,
limited to, provisions of the Evidence Code relating to privilege.
- Correspondence of and to the Governor or employees of the Governor's Office or in the custody of or maintained
by the Governor's legal affairs secretary.
ARB also has the discretion to claim an exemption from public disclosure for records which do not qualify for a specific exemption under the California Public Records Act but as to which it determines that the public interest served by not making the record public clearly outweighs the public interest served by disclosure, pursuant to Government Code Section 6255. Except as required by law, ARB does not allow public access to 'trade secrets' as defined in Government Code Section 6254.7(d) and Evidence Code 1060. 'Trade secrets' do not include emissions data since all emissions data and air pollution monitoring data are public records. However, ARB's determination to disclose a record which may otherwise be exempt from disclosure does not constitute a waiver with respect to any other records.
need a disability-related accommodation, please ask us for assistance or contact the ADA Coordinator at (916) 323-4916.
If you need assistance in a language other than English, please contact the Bilingual Coordinator at (916) 322-0473.
TTY/TDD/Speech-to-Speech users may dial 7-1-1 for the California Relay Service.
Air Resources Board
Office of Legal Affairs // Public Records Coordinator
P.O. Box 2815
Sacramento, California 95812
Under the California Public Records Act (Government Code section 6250 and following) and the California Code of Regulations (Title 17, section 91000 and following), I hereby request access to and/or copies of the following documents, which are filed with, retained by, or prepared by the Air Resources Board (ARB):
[Reasonably describe identifiable records to include facility
location, project, company, individual, address, city, zip code, and/or
of records required such as enforcement, staff report, etc.]
Please respond within ten (10) calendar days from the date ARB receives this request as to whether this request specifies identifiable records that are not exempt from disclosure under the California Public Records Act, or are privileged or otherwise confidential, and therefore subject to disclosure. I understand that this time may be extended up to 14 days for unusual circumstances, as provided by California Government Code section 6253, subdivision (c), and that I will be notified of such extension, if any, and the reasons therefore.
I understand that I may obtain copies of the requested documents at a cost of .10 cents per page. I am also aware that if the requested records are too voluminous, ARB will contact me and provide me access to the records to review and photocopy them with my own equipment and at my own expense.
[Your Name, Address and Phone Number]