Information & Records FAQ

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 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

PUBLIC RECORDS
1. What is a public record?
2. How can I request public records?
3. Can I review public records before I request copies?
4. Is there a charge associated with making a public records request?
5. What are topic files?
6. What was the Stream Control Commission (SCC), what regulations did they enforce, what records are available, and how can I access them?
7. How do I obtain a map?

CUSTOMER SERVICE CENTER (CSC)
8. What are the CSC's hours of operation?
9. How can I contact the CSC?
10. What is the purpose of the CSC?

PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST PROCEDURES
1. What is a public record?
 Records created or received by state agencies during the course of business are considered public. These records are made publicly accessible upon request. They may include documents, maps, photographs, videotapes, handwritten notes, or computer data, including e-mails. For a statutory definition of a public record, refer to Louisiana R.S. 44:1.
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All requests for public records must be made using either the online request form http://edms.deq.louisiana.gov/prr or the paper version at DEQ Form ISD-0005-01. At this time we cannot accept records requests by telephone or e-mail. Your request should include your name, along with the name of your organization, mailing address, telephone number, fax number, e-mail address, and the description of records you wish to receive with as many details as possible to help identify what you are seeking. The more information you provide to us, the easier it is for the Agency to respond to your request quickly and accurately. We can provide records in paper or CD format, and sometimes electronically, depending on the request. For further viewing information, you can also view our CD Requests Fact Sheet. You can choose to view the records in-person, pick them up at DEQ, have copies made and mailed to you, have copies made and faxed to you, or, for some requests, have documents sent to you electronically. Some options involve special provisions. For example, we can fax records but only if they total less than 20 pages. Also, copies may be sent via Federal Express if you provide us with your FedEx number. Paper request forms may be submitted via mail, fax, or in person. Contact information for submitting the request is contained on the form itself.
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3.       Can I review public records before I request copies?
Members of the public are welcome to search our Electronic Document Management System (EDMS), which is available on the Internet at http://edms.deq.louisiana.gov. The EDMS is DEQ's electronic repository of official records that have been created or received by DEQ. For more information, view our EDMS Fact Sheet.
Members of the public can also search, retrieve, view, and print facility files at the Public Records Center located at DEQ Headquarters, Galvez Building, 1st Floor, 602 N. Fifth St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802. 
 
The EDMS is also accessible at the DEQ regional offices, from 8 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday.  Before visiting a regional office Public Records Center, please contact the regional office to make an appointment. Click here to find the nearest Regional Office.
4.       Is there a charge associated with making a public records request?
There is no charge to complete the Public Records Request Form. The form is available at http://edms.deq.louisiana.gov/prr. However, in accordance with LAC 33:I.23, specific copy fees apply -- 25 cents per page for single-sided copies and 50 cents per page for double-sided copies.  You may also request your copies on a CD. If you believe that you qualify for reduced rate or free copies, you may fill out the Free or Reduced Rate Copy Fee Certification Form and fax or mail it to us at the address or number above.  To determine if you are eligible to receive free or reduced copy fees, carefully review the form (DEQ Form ISD-0005-02) online.  We will inform you of the status of your request within three days of receiving it. If you have submitted an online request form, you will receive a confirmation e-mail and number once it has been received by Records Management staff.  You will receive a Notice of Estimated Costs once the documents have been found. Checks or money orders are accepted for all charges. Exact change is accepted for charges under $5.00 when paying in person in the Baton Rouge office. At this time we do not accept credit card payments.
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Topic files are any records that cannot be associated with a particular facility regulated by DEQ. Examples of documents in the Topic File collection include federal, state, parish, and municipal documents, as well as reports from consultants and nonprofit agencies; university studies; and correspondence from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). To access topic files, go to http://edms.deq.louisiana.gov, click the Lookup AI link, and search for the word "topic" in the AI Name field.  
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6.       What was the Stream Control Commission (SCC), what regulations did they enforce, what records are available, and how can I access them?
The SCC was the first regulatory commission dealing with water in Louisiana.  It was active in 1940-1979. There is a typed transcript for each SCC meeting during the 1970s which lists each facility discussed at that meeting. For meetings before this time period, minutes were taken, but may not be available in our collection. In most cases, the regulations are contained within the proceedings themselves.  The SCC proceedings records are available in the EDMS under Agency Interest (AI) 168766.  A paper copy of the minutes and transcripts are kept in the DEQ library collection. Supporting documentation is also available. Ask a Public Records Technician for assistance.
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Members of the public may create maps via the DEQ Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Center's "Make-a-Map" application. This application is currently available at http://map.deq.la.gov. For assistance, contact the GIS Center at gisweb@la.gov.

CUSTOMER SERVICE CENTER (CSC)
8.       What are the CSC's hours of operation?
Our hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM (CST).
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 9.       How can I contact the CSC?
Phone: 225.219.LDEQ (5337)
Toll free:
866.896.LDEQ (5337)
E-mail: webmasterdeq@la.gov
Your questions about environmental issues, the agency’s services and programs, state environmental regulations, recycling, permits, and others will be answered promptly, usually within one business day with an e-mail response.

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 10.   What is the purpose of the CSC?
The Customer Service Center (CSC) provides telephone and electronic reference services for DEQ. CSC Specialists will promptly and accurately answer questions regarding the DEQ and its programs or find someone within the Agency that can answer your question. Your Customer Service specialist will stay on the line with you until you get the answer you need.

While our primary focus is to answer questions pertaining to the Agency and environmental issues, we will try to assist callers who need information which is outside of DEQ’s official functions. This may involve an informed referral to another government agency.
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Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality 602 N. Fifth Street Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Call or e-mail a hotline · Office Address/Phone listing · Locate a DEQ employee
Call 1-866-896-LDEQ or e-mail our Customer Service Center with questions or comments