From Illinois Business Journal news services
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has launched a new online tool to improve public access to some of its most soft-after documents.
The IEPA Document Explorer includes technical documents from the agency’s Leaking Underground Storage Tank program and Site Remediation Program.
People can now search more than 425,000 documents consisting of 11.5 million pages. Through the tool, individuals can search for locations of interest by site name; location address and/or program ID; or by a geographic mapping tool that will assist in identifying more than 200,000 locations known to the Illinois EPA.
“The Illinois EPA is excited to provide a tool to better aid the public in obtaining pertinent Agency documents and further improving the transparency of this agency,” said Director Lisa Bonnett. “Not only will this benefit the public, but Illinois EPA anticipates a significant reduction in FOIA requests for these documents that will now be readily available online.”
In calendar year 2014, Illinois EPA received more than 6,600 requests under the Freedom of Information Act, for nearly 26,000 site locations or items. The Agency estimated that nearly half of those requests involved Leaking Underground Storage Tank or Site Remediation Program information, which will now be available without submitting a FOIA request.
Individuals or businesses seeking technical documents related to either of the referenced programs can access the IEPA Document Explorer through the agency’s website at http://external.epa.illinois.gov/DocumentExplorer. This is the first phase of the Agency’s Document Explorer. Illinois EPA plans to add additional documents to the online tool to further improve access to Agency documents.
For documents not available through the IEPA Document Explorer, individuals can continue to request those documents through the Freedom of Information Act. An online form can be completed on the Illinois EPA website at www.epa.illinois.gov/foia.