Department of Environmental Conservation

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Freedom of Information Law (FOIL)

DEC's new Online FOIL Request System is now live.

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.

Records Available Online

Many of the DEC'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

Quick Links to Popular Database-driven Applications

How to Request DEC Records

DEC's online FOIL Request System will allow you to submit, edit, and track your pending requests and is the most efficient way to submit a request for records. You can quickly and easily create an account to take advantage of these features. You will also find additional helpful information about the FOIL request process here, including timelines and fees.

You may also 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
625 Broadway
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 DEC are responsive to your request.

Records Available at DEC's Offices for Inspection and Copying

An appointment is necessary if you wish to inspect and copy records at the Department's offices. DEC is open for the inspection and copying of records between the hours of 8:45 AM and 4:45 PM, Monday through Friday, excluding State holidays. A list of State holidays during which DEC is closed is available at 2016 Legal Holidays in NY. DEC makes its records available for inspection and copying at the following locations:

  • Central Office, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-1010
  • Region 1, SUNY @ Stony Brook, 50 Circle Road, Stony Brook, NY 11790-3409
  • Region 2, 1 Hunter's Point Plaza, 47-40 21st Street, Long Island City, NY 11101-5401
  • Region 3, 21 South Putt Corners Road, New Paltz, NY 12561-1696
  • Region 4, 1130 North Westcott Rd., Schenectady, NY 12306-2014
  • Region 5, 1115 NYS Route 86, P.O. Box 296, Ray Brook, NY 12977-0296
  • Region 6, 317 Washington St., Watertown, NY 13601-3787
  • Region 7, 615 Erie Blvd. West, Syracuse, NY 13204-2400
  • Region 8, 6274 E. Avon-Lima Rd., Avon, NY 14414-9519
  • Region 9, 270 Michigan Ave., Buffalo NY 14203-2915

How to Appeal the Department's Denial of Access to Records

You have the right to appeal the Department's denial of access to records. You must submit your appeal in writing and within thirty days of the Department's denial of access. Please direct any appeal, in writing, by regular mail or e-mail. To submit your appeal regular mail, send it to:

FOIL Appeals Officer
Office of General Counsel
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-1500

To submit your appeal by e-mail, send it to:

More about Freedom of Information Law (FOIL):

  • Online FOIL Request System - Online system for submitting, editing, and tracking Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests to DEC
  • DEC Records List - The Department's subject matter list briefly describes the various types of records maintained by DEC.