Learn more about how you can request and access public records from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP).
Guide Making a Public Records Request at MassDEP
Table of Contents
Background: An Act to Improve Public Records
On June 3, 2016, Governor Baker signed into law “An Act to Improve Public Records,” enhancing public access to information. That law went into effect January 1, 2017. While diligent efforts are made every day across the Executive Branch to respond to a large number of public record requests, this law provides standards that will improve our approach so as to reduce delays and costs that burden accessibility.
For additional information about making a request or filing an appeal, see Chapter 121 of the Acts of 2016.
Making a Public Records Request
Tips for Making Your Request
The information you're seeking may already be available online which can expedite your access. See MassDEP Environmental Look-ups and Online Services for links to our information and data sources.
Environmental issues are addressed by different agencies and offices under the Secretariat of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Consider the information you're seeking as your request may be more appropriately directed to a related environmental agency. Each secretariat and agency has a designated Records Access Office to receive and respond to public records requests.
Consider how to can narrow the scope of your request to expedite the production process. The first four hours of work performed to respond to a public records request (PRR) will be performed at no cost. After that, the agency may charge up to $25 per hour.
Consider how to revise your PRR to exclude records containing personally identifiable information. Public agencies must adhere to the law requiring them to secure personally identifiable information and prevent unwarranted invasions of privacy. Documents containing such information must be redacted carefully before releasing which increases the time needed for production.
Records Access Officers
MassDEP has designated Records Response Coordinators (RRCs) who serve as Secondary Records Access Officers for each of its bureaus, offices and regions. If you know the program or region for the record you seek, please contact that program or region directly from the Records Response Coordinators (RCC) listed below. This will help ensure the most expeditious and accurate response to your request.
MassDEP has also designated the following employee as the Primary Records Access Officer (RAO) to assist requesters in fulfilling their requests.
Rachel M. Cohen, Primary RAO
Title: MassDEP Records Manager
Business address: MassDEP, 1 Winter Street, Boston, MA 02108
Business Telephone Number: 617-292-5581
Business email*: firstname.lastname@example.org
PRR email: DEP.PublicRecords@mass.gov
*Only questions pertaining to the PRR process or a PRR status should be sent to the business email account of the Primary RAO.
Please Note: While requests for public records may be made orally in person to the Primary Records Access Officer (RAO), or Secondary RAOs, such requests may not be the subject of an appeal. Telephone requests may be accepted at the discretion of the RAOs.
Contact MassDEP Records Response Coordinators
Program Coordinators - Boston Headquarters
Bureau of Air and Waste
Bureau of Waste Site Clean Up
Bureau of Water Resources
Bureau of Administrative Services
Boston Headquarters Coordinators
Office of the Commissioner
Office of Appeals and Dispute Resolution
Office of Enforcement
Office of General Counsel
MassDEP Regional Office & Laboratory Coordinators
Central Regional Office
8 New Bond Street
Worcester, Massachusetts 01606
Northeast Regional Office
205B Lowell Street
Wilmington, Massachusetts 01887
Southeast Regional Office
20 Riverside Drive
Lakeville, MA 02347
Western Regional Office
436 Dwight Street
Springfield, MA 01103
William X. Wall Experiment Station
37 Shattuck Street
Lawrence, MA 01843
MassDEP Online Access & Records Request Form
The information or data that you are seeking may be available online and searchable from MassDEP databases.
Many records are also available from program Web sites indexed under MassDEP A to Z Quicklinks.
File review is available in-person at our regional offices.