Freedom of Information Law (FOIL)
In New York State, the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) governs public access to agency records and reaffirms your right to know how your government operates. It provides rights of access to records reflective of governmental decisions and policies that affect the lives of every New Yorker.
How to Request DEC Records
You may request records by sending a letter or a completed Application for Access to Records (PDF) by mail, fax, or e-mail to:
Records Access Officer
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Albany, NY 12233-1500
phone: (518) 402-9522
fax: (518) 402-9018
Please be as specific as possible when requesting records, so that we may easily identify which records maintained by the Department are responsive to your request.
Records Available Online
Many of the Department's records are available online and can be obtained by searching DEC's website and online databases without submitting a formal request. Conducting a search may satisfy your needs or help to refine your FOIL request. The most popular searches are listed below.
New York's Open Data
DEC has many datasets, maps, and other types of documentation available online through New York State's Open Data website.
Information about Spill Incidents, Remedial Sites and Bulk Storage
DEC's Environmental Site Database Search can provide information on:
- Oil and chemical spills
- Sites being addressed under DEC's Superfund, Brownfield Cleanup, Environmental Restoration and Voluntary Cleanup programs
- Petroleum and chemical bulk storage or major oil storage facilities
- Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Subpart-C Corrective Action Program records
Information on Hazardous Waste Management Facilities
DEC uses EPA identification numbers to locate records on hazardous waste management facilities. To find the EPA ID number, visit the EPA Envirofacts website and enter an address to determine if it is associated with a hazardous waste management facility.
Information about facilities with EPA ID numbers can be found at EPA's Enforcement & Compliance History Online (ECHO) website.
When making a FOIL request for information maintained by the NYSDEC on these facilities, please provide the EPA ID number.
Additional DEC Databases
More about Freedom of Information Law (FOIL):
- DEC Records List - The Department's subject matter list briefly describes the various types of records maintained by DEC.