Public Records Requests and File Reviews

Under Ohio’s public records law, citizens have the right to view upon request the public records of offices such as Ohio EPA.

Ohio’s public records law should not be confused with the Federal Freedom of Information Act, which applies to records held by federal agencies. Ohio EPA does not have a central repository for all its records. Each division within Ohio EPA and each of the five district offices houses its own files.

Therefore, more than one office may need to be contacted to obtain all applicable files on a particular issue or site. The Procedures for Public Records Requests and File Reviews fact sheet explains Ohio EPA’s file review process in more detail.

Ohio EPA's eDocument Search is designed to improve efficiency; reduce costs; and greatly improve the public's ability to access to Ohio EPA's public records from anywhere without copying costs. The system currently includes noncompliance documents issued since Jan. 1, 2007. Eventually, electronic copies of most of the Agency's public records will be available.

For more information about Ohio’s public records law, you may review Ohio Revised Code 149.43.

In order to better identify, locate and track the file(s) being requested, Ohio EPA suggests all requests for public records or file reviews be submitted in writing. When making a request, include as much of the information below as possible:

    • name of the facility/company;

    • address;

    • city/township;

    • county;

    • I.D. number (if known/applicable);

    • 8-1/2 x 11 map, if applicable;

    • type of information you are looking for (for example, hazardous waste, air pollution);

    • time period of the information you are requesting; and

    • your name, address, email address, and phone number

Once your request is received, it is routed to the appropriate program offices to secure files. Once the files are located, you will be contacted to have copies made or to set up a convenient time for you to review the files.

The charge for copies is five cents per page. As a courtesy, Ohio EPA may waive the charges if fewer than 250 copies are made. Ohio EPA reserves the right to deny this courtesy if a requester asks for fewer than 250 pages of a single document that exceeds 250 pages or where a requester repeatedly requests copies under the 250-page limit in an effort to avoid copying charges. The charge for copying more than 250 pages is five cents a page, which includes pages 1 through 250. A two-sided copy counts as two pages.

Each district office has specific copying procedures. Click on the appropriate district below to see these procedures.


The best initial contact for your file review request is the district office where the facility or site is located. To locate the appropriate office, please see the map below. If you wish to review Agency files on a matter involving more than one division or district office, or are uncertain as to where the facility is located, please send your request to Rich Bouder, Ohio EPA’s public records manager, by e-mail or phone at (614) 644-2782.


 

Ohio EPA - Central Office
Attn: Rich Bouder
P.O. Box 1049
Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049
(614) 644-2782
(614) 644-3184 FAX
Email Rich Bouder
Central Office Copy Procedures

Ohio EPA - Central District Office
Attn: Lisa Oltman
50 W. Town Street, Suite 700
Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 728-0793
(614) 728-3898 FAX
Email Lisa Oltman
Central District Office Copy Procedures

Ohio EPA - Northeast District Office
Attn: Nicole Patella
2110 E Aurora Road
Twinsburg, Ohio 44087
(330) 963-1200
(330) 487-0769 FAX
Email Nicole Patella
Northeast District Office Copy Procedures

Ohio EPA - Southeast District Office
Attn: Angie Hardesty
2195 Front Street
Logan, Ohio 43138
(740) 385-8501
(740) 385-6490 FAX
Email Angie Hardesty
Southeast District Office Copy Procedures

Ohio EPA - Northwest District Office
Attn: Cathy Sherer
347 North Dunbridge Road
Bowling Green, Ohio 43402
(419) 373-3084
(419) 352-8468 FAX
Email Cathy Sherer
Northwest District Office Copy Procedures

Ohio EPA - Southwest District Office
Attn: Penny Horstman
401 East Fifth Street
Dayton, Ohio 45402-2911
(937) 285-6025
(937) 285-6249 FAX
Email Penny Horstman
Southwest District Office Copy Procedures

 

 

 

Ohio EPA's eDocument Search 

Ohio EPA's eDocument Search is designed to improve efficiency; reduce costs; and greatly improve the public's ability to access to Ohio EPA's public records from anywhere without copying costs. The system currently includes noncompliance documents issued since Jan. 1, 2007. Eventually, electronic copies of most of the Agency's public records will be available.

START your SEARCH using the NEW PUBLIC PORTAL!

If you can't find a non-compliance document, please contact Ohio EPA's public records manager. To review any other kind of document, please contact the district office where the facility or site is located. If you aren't sure of the facility location, please contact Ohio EPA's public records manager. Ohio Revised Code 149.43 has more information about Ohio's public records law.

VIDEO   Watch a short video of details about this search tool and an example search!

Frequently Asked Questions

Available documents include: any Agency letter citing violations of authorizing actions; laws or rules; any Agency letter documenting a corrected violation that was sent to the violator; unilateral and consensual director's final findings and orders resolving a violation; and Ohio Attorney General's orders on behalf of Ohio EPA.

Currently, the system includes noncompliance documents issued since January 1, 2007.

Documents may be scanned into the system and appear as soon as 48 hours after they are issued, but sometimes it may take a little longer. If you don't see a recently issued document right away, please check back in a couple of days. If you need it sooner, please use the contact information listed below.

Ohio EPA Public Records
1-877-372-2499
email: edoc.support@epa.ohio.gov

You may search the database by document type, date range, facility name, county, program, secondary ID, or any word or phrase that appears in the document.

This could be due to several factors. Be sure that you have the correct spelling, numbers or names. Be sure you are searching for a document that is cataloged in the database. The database does not include all Agency documents at this time. Currently, the database does include: any Agency letter citing violations of authorizing actions, laws or rules; any Agency letter documenting a corrected violation that was sent to the violator; unilateral and consensual director's final findings and orders resolving a violation; and Attorney General's orders on behalf of Ohio EPA. All current documents date back no further than January 1, 2007. If you still can't find it, please contact Ohio EPA for assistance.

Ohio EPA Public Records
1-877-372-2499
email: edoc.support@epa.ohio.gov

Generally, it is good not to be too specific in your search.

If you enter the term Surface Water, the search will return every instance or combination of results with the words Surface Water. It also will return results with just surface or water in the search results. This will occur whenever you don’t use quotation marks around the words. You can narrow search results by clicking on the “Show Advanced” box, and further refine your search results by document type, date range, facility name, county, program, or secondary ID. Once you click on search, the search result will reflect the refined search.

Each record that is returned will include a hyperlink to connect to the actual documents, all documents related to the same facility, and the document’s keyword values. Printing or searching within the document is accomplished by using the controls in your browser window. The text within the PDF document is fully searchable.

To download the documents you are interested in, you can select the documents you want out of the search results by clicking the leftmost box in the search results and then clicking on “download zip.”  A dialog box will pop up and ask you to name the zip file.  Once named, you click on “begin merge” and the documents are downloaded to your computer.

If you still can't find something, please be sure to contact Ohio EPA by phone or email for further assistance.

Ohio EPA Public Records
1-877-372-2499
email: edoc.support@epa.ohio.gov

Contact Ohio EPA by using the phone number or email address listed below. We will assist you in obtaining the document. Also, please report unreadable documents or any other technical problem so it can be fixed in the system.

Ohio EPA Public Records
1-877-372-2499
email: edoc.support@epa.ohio.gov

Ohio EPA will be adding documents over the next several years. Each time a new document type is made available online, the eDocument Search page will be updated to inform users regarding what is available online. Any public records that cannot be found using the eDocument Search can be requested through the Agency's public records request process. Please visit Ohio EPA's website to assist you in making a public records request.