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Public Record Request

In Florida, most written and recorded communications relating to official state business, are available to the public. Most Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) records are available online, may be accessed at any time and at no cost to you. These are the same databases used by DEP staff for storing and sharing records.

  • Oculus - Search for records related to permitting, permitted facilities and other regulated activities.
  • Information Portal - Search for records by facility, site names, street addresses or document type.
  • DEP Business Portal - Apply for commonly issued authorizations, permits or certifications, pay fees and renewals, submit annual reports, subscribe to agency newsletters or search for records.

Records Retention

All state of Florida government records are subject to retention schedules. When a record reaches or exceeds its established schedule it may be permanently disposed. DEP no longer retains and is unable to provide, copies of records that have been disposed.   

Frequently Asked Questions About Public Records

How do I ask questions or express concerns to DEP?

Many questions are best answered at the district-level as they are most familiar with local issues and regulations. View our district map to determine the right office to contact. If you have additional questions or concerns, contact the Office of the Ombudsman and Public Services at Public.Services@FloridaDEP.gov or 850-245-2118.


How do I submit a public records request?

If you are unable to find desired records through our public portals, you may email your records request to Public.Services@FloridaDEP.gov. For faster processing and lower cost (if applicable), please include the following:

  • Your preferred contact information.
  • Clear description of desired record(s).
  • Specific date(s) of desired record(s).

Will I have to pay for public records?

Many records are provided at no cost to the requestor.

Extensive use charges may be assessed for use of labor, systems, material, supplies and other resources required to provide access/copies of public records. Charges will be assessed when staff are required to spend more than 30 minutes (continuous or cumulative) on activities related to fulfilling a records request, systems are engaged outside their normal operations, administrative supplies (paper, toner, CDs, DVDs, postage, etc.) are used or any other quantifiable state resources are expended for the sole purpose of fulfilling the request.

When charges are likely, an estimate of costs will be provided to the requester. In some cases, payment or deposit, may be required before processing begins. Records may not be released until any charges are paid in full.


How can I request public records at the lowest possible cost?

When it takes less than 30 minutes of staff time and no significant resources are expended, there is no charge for providing records.

When making a request, you can reduce costs by being specific about exactly what records you desire, specific date(s) and any qualifying details. This is helpful to ensure that the search we conduct and the records you receive, meet your needs at the lowest cost to both you and the department. We often work with requestors to help narrow searches that seem overly broad in scope. Contact us if we can assist you with refining your request.


How long does it take to fulfill a public records request?

Florida law requires that an agency must respond within a “limited reasonable time.” This is the time it takes to review the request, search, retrieve and process records for release. Some requests may take only a few minutes, while others may take weeks.

The length of time it takes depends on activity, volume and scope of the requested records. We are committed to providing requested records as quickly and efficiently as possible.


In what format will public records be provided?

Records will be provided in the format that they are used and stored by the department. On occasion, the format may require specific software (Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Office prgrams, etc.) to open records. 

It is the responsibility of the requestor to obtain any software needed to access these files. DEP does not reformat data, create new records, or write new reports to accommodate requests for information.


How do I contact my local DEP district office?

Most of DEP's regulatory records are provided at the locally through our district offices. 

  • Statewide District Map.
  • Central District - Brevard, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter and Volusia counties.
  • Northeast District - Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Lafayette, Levy, Madison, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns, Suwannee, Taylor and Union counties.
  • Northwest District - Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Wakulla, Walton and Washington counties.
  • South District - Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hendry, Highlands, Lee, Monroe and Sarasota counties.
  • Southwest District - Citrus, Hardee, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas and Polk counties.
  • Southeast District - Broward, Dade, Martin, Indian River, Okeechobee, Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties.
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Last Modified:
June 16, 2022 - 2:18pm

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