Public Access to Records (FOIA)

The commission will make the fullest possible disclosure of records to the public, consistent with the rights of individuals to privacy, the property rights of persons in trade secrets and confidential commercial or financial information, and the need for the commission to promote frank internal policy deliberations and to pursue its regulatory activities without disruption.

DRBC's regulations concerning public access to records and information comprise Article 8 of the Rules of Practice and Procedure, which is available on-line or by contacting the office of the Commission Secretary at 609-883-9500 ext. 224.

Key aspects of the rule are summarized below.

How to Request Documents from the DRBC:
  • Submit your written request including details about the information being sought via email or fax to the Commission's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Officer (Richard.Gore@drbc.state.nj.us). The fax number is 609-883-9522. The request also may be mailed to the above individual at DRBC, P.O. Box 7360, 25 State Police Drive, West Trenton, NJ 08628. If your request is very broad, you may be asked to narrow it.
  • The FOIA Officer will contact you within 10 working days to advise you either (a) that the requested documents are being furnished, along with an approximate date by which you can expect to receive them; or (b) in the event any part of the request is being denied, the extent to which the request is being denied and the reasons for the denial. In addition, you will be informed of anticipated costs, if any, associated with responding to the request.
  • Please note that the public access provisions of Article 8 apply to existing records; the Commission is not required to prepare new records in order to respond to a request for information.
Making an Appointment:
  • If you have asked to review files in person, please contact the commission at (609) 883-9500 to schedule an appointment for your review.
  • Appointments are generally scheduled between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Fees:
  • Copies. For black & white photocopies, the Commission charges $0.15 per printed page (i.e., $0.30 for a double-sided copy). For color copies, the charge is $1.00 per 8.5" x 11" page, $1.50 per 8.5" x 14" page, $2.00 per 11" x 17" page, and $2.50 per square foot for larger documents, as set forth at Section 2.8.10 of the Rules of Practice and Procedure.
  • Electronically Generated Records. Charges for copying records maintained in electronic format will be equal to the material and administrative (labor) costs involved.
  • Administrative Fees. An administrative fee will be applied for time in excess of a quarter of an hour required to respond to a request. Requesters that do not reschedule or cancel appointments to view files at least one full business day in advance of the appointment may be subject to the administrative charges incurred by the Commission in preparing the requested records.
  • The FOIA Officer may require a deposit or payment in advance when a large volume of copying is requested, when high administrative costs are anticipated, or when photocopying is to be performed off-site.
  • Requesters may not photocopy materials themselves. This task must be performed by DRBC personnel or by an outside provider selected by DRBC. 
  • In the case of requests for copies of documents reviewed on-site, the reviewer will be asked to flag the documents for which copies are requested. With few exceptions, copies will not be made on demand during a review. Rather, copies will be mailed or arrangements made for picking them up at a later date to allow time for staff or an outside service to create them.
Payment:
  • Unless payment is requested in advance, an invoice will be generated and mailed along with the requested documents.
Records Not Subject to Disclosure:
  • Internal agency rules and practices.
  • Information that is prohibited from disclosure by another law.
  • Trade secrets and other confidential business information.
  • Inter-agency or intra-agency communications other than purely factual compilations, which are part of a deliberative process, including:
    • Non-formal communication between DRBC staff and/or the staff of agencies of the signatory parties.
    • Documents related to the settlement of a legal dispute.
  • Information involving matters of personal privacy.
  • Certain information compiled for law enforcement purposes.

In addition, identification and intended uses of materials may be requested prior to disclosure of geological and geophysical information and data, including maps, concerning wells, intake structures and discharge points.