Public Records Request
Under the California Public Records Act, citizens have the right to review and obtain public records maintained by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. The following are guidelines for access to Air District public records.
Make a Records Request
The easiest and quickest way to make a request is to use the Air District’s Public Records Portal. The portal allows a requester to enter a request into a web form and click on the “submit” button. The requester will receive a reply e-mail that describes and confirms the request and assigns it an identifying number. A requester may also set up an “account” and track the Air District’s response to the request.
Use of the Public Records Portal Encouraged
The Air District encourages requests to be made using the Public Records Portal. The portal not only provides the Air District with a written request, it provides requesters with confirmation and the ability to track progress on a request. Although the California Public Records Act does not limit the ways in which requests can be made, the Air District’s experience with oral requests has been that they can more easily lead to confusion. For the quickest possible response and to avoid possible confusion or delay, put a request in writing using the Public Records Portal.
"Records" include any writing owned, used or maintained by the Air District in the conduct of its official business. Writings include information recorded or stored on paper, computers, e-mail, or audio or visual tapes.
In order to help the Air District provide records promptly, requesters should provide as much specific information about the records as possible. When a request is not sufficiently specific, Air District staff will help the requester to identify the information, describe how the records are maintained and their physical location, and provide suggestions on how to overcome any practical barriers to disclosure.
Inspection of Public Records
Public records maintained by the Air District are available for inspection during regular business hours, 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday and alternate Fridays, excluding holidays. Members of the public are not required to give notice in order to inspect public records during normal working hours. However, because many requests require the retrieval, review, or redaction of records, requesters may find it helpful to call and establish a mutually agreeable time for inspection of records.
The Air District will provide access to all public records upon request unless the law provides an exemption from mandatory disclosure. Examples of records exempt from mandatory disclosure under the California Public Records Act include: certain personnel records, investigative records, drafts, confidential legal advice, trade secrets, records prepared in connection with litigation, and information that may be kept confidential pursuant to other state or federal statutes.
The Air District may charge the direct cost of duplication when it provides copies of records to the public (currently $.10 cents per page). When the Air District must compile electronic data, extract information from an electronic record, or undertake computer programming to satisfy a request, the Air District may require the requester to bear the full costs, including staff time, not just the direct cost of duplication.
District Administrative Code
The Air District has adopted written guidelines for public records that are set forth in Division I, Section 11 of the Air District’s Administrative Code.
Although the Air District encourages use of its Public Records Portal, requesters may also submit a request to the Air District by contacting the Air District’s Public Records Coordinator:
Public Records Coordinator
Bay Area Air Quality Management District
939 Ellis Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
Phone: (415) 749-4761
The Air District no longer maintains a facsimile number for public records requests.
If you have any questions about public records, contact the Public Records Coordinator.