You may request in writing to have fees waived if the disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest because:
The mere fact that you are a non-profit organization or a member of the media does not in and of itself qualify for a fee waiver. In addition, a requester's inability to pay is not a legal basis for granting you a fee waiver.
Requests for fee waivers are considered on a case-by-case basis. In order to determine whether the statutory requirements are met, EPA must consider six factors:
- it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations and activities of the government, and
- it is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.
Fee Waiver Request Form
- The subject matter of the requested records must specifically concern identifiable operations of activities of the government. Request for records for their informational content alone does not satisfy this factor.
- The disclosure of the requested records must be "likely to contribute" to the public understanding of government operations. The requested records must be meaningfully informative in relation to the subject matter of the request and should not already be in public domain.
- The disclosure of requested records must contribute to "public understanding of government operations." Disclosure must contribute to the understanding of the public at large, as opposed to the understanding of the requester or a narrow segment of interested persons. One must demonstrate with reasonable specificity the ability to understand, extract and convey the requested information as well as the ability and intent to actively disseminate the information to the general public.
- The disclosure must contribute "significantly" to public understanding of government operations or activities. On balance, the public's understanding of government operations must be significantly greater after disclosure in comparison to the public's understanding prior to disclosure.
- The extent to which disclosure will serve the requester's commercial interest, if any. Status as a nonprofit organization or representative of the news media is not alone sufficient to satisfy this requirement.
- The extent to which the identified public interest in the disclosure outweighs the requester's commercial interest.