Procedures for Requesting Information

Public Information Act Requests

Overview:

The Public Information Act (the “PIA”) can be found in Chapter 552 of the Texas Government Code. The PIA helps provide a legal framework for open government and establishes a legal process for the disclosure and protection of public information.  The PIA protects the ability of the citizens to access information maintained by governmental bodies and obtain a more complete understanding of how their government works.  The PIA also provides for occasions where an agency, if it determines necessary or is required by law, may withhold records from the public.

Under the PIA, a governmental body is not required to answer questions, perform legal research or create new information in response to a request for information. Additionally, a governmental body is not required to comply with a continuing request to supply information on a periodic bases or with a request for information that is prepared in the future.

 

Before making a request, please check the RRC website.  The information you are seeking may be online.

 

Procedure:

A request for information MUST be in writing.  You may submit a request by mail, fax, email or in person. For requests to the RRC, please use the following:

Email address: open.records@rrc.texas.gov

Mailing address: PO Box 12967, Austin, Texas 78711-2967

Fax: 512-463-6684

Helpful Hints:

  1. Please make sure to include a clear and specific description about what information you are requesting.   The RRC can seek clarification on unclear or overbroad requests.  If you do not respond our request for clarification within a reasonable time, your request will be considered withdrawn.
  2. Request for incident information: state what type of incident, when and where the incident occurred
  3. Requests for permit information: state what type of permit, permit number, operator name and/or number
  4. Requests for leases/well information: must have the lease number, API number or the exact lease name and where the well is located (no property descriptions or addresses)
  5. Requests for pipeline information: T-4 permit number
  6. Hearing/Enforcement files: docket number for the case, operator and/or parties involved

 

Time for responses:

The RRC open records team attempts to respond to all requests within 10 business days.

If a response contains information that the RRC determines must be withheld, the requestor does have the option of waiving access to that information.  If the requestor does not waive access, an opinion from the Attorney General’s Office will be sought, which could take up to 45 business days.

 

Costs:

Costs are determined by the Public Information Act and through rules adopted by the Office of the Attorney General.

If charges for producing information is in excess of $40.00, a cost estimate might be necessary.  The requestor must respond to any written estimate within 10 business days from the date the estimate was sent, or the request will be considered withdrawn.  You may choose to narrow the scope of the request or inspect the documents as less costly alternatives.

If a response requires specialized programming, a cost estimate will be sent within 20 days. The agency does have the option for a 10-day extension for the cost estimate if needed. Once presented with the estimate, the requestor will have 30 days to accept or decline the estimate.  If the requestor does not respond within the 30 days, the request is considered withdrawn.

 

For complaints or questions regarding failure to release public information, costs rules or failure to comply with an OAG ruling please contact the Office of the Attorney General, Open Government Hotline, at 512-478-6737 or toll-free at 1-877-673-6839.

If you need special accommodation pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), please contact our Accessibility Coordinator at accessibility_coordinator@rrc.texas.gov.

 

Last Updated: 8/30/2019 9:43:48 AM