National Archives This is historical material “frozen in time”. The website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work.

Welcome to the Council on Environmental Quality’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Requester Service Center. This center was created in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act and Executive Order 13392, “Improving Agency Disclosure of Information,” which directs Federal agencies to ensure citizen-centered, results-oriented FOIA operations. The center provides basic instruction on obtaining CEQ information under FOIA, and the Proactive Disclosure Reading Room makes available documents on environmental issues. To save time and money, please review the material available on CEQ’s website before submitting a FOIA request

How to Submit a FOIA Request

Please state clearly that the request is being made under FOIA. Be as specific as you can when identifying the information you are seeking, and include your name, address, and contact information to enable us to contact you with any questions. Remember: FOIA requests and responses may be made available for public inspection, so don’t submit information involving trade secrets, confidential or proprietary commercial or financial information, or any other material you do not want to be publicly available. Submit requests electronically to Fax them to (202) 456-0753 or address regular mail to Freedom of Information Officer, Council on Environmental Quality, 730 Jackson Place, NW, Washington, DC 20503. For security reasons, CEQ no longer accepts or opens attachments to emails submitted to the FOIA email inbox. CEQ will not respond to FOIA requests submitted as email attachments. Please transmit attachments by fax or postal mail or include the information in the text body of the email. Note however, we may request attachments once the FOIA request has been received.

CEQ FOIA Reading Room

In his March 19, 2009 Memorandum on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), commonly known as the “Attorney General’s Guidelines,”  Attorney General Holder instructed agencies to “readily and systematically post information online in advance of any public request.” This section of CEQ’s FOIA Requester Service Center responds to that direction, providing a wealth of information on environmental issues in general and CEQ in particular. This regularly updated site includes reports, publications, environmental laws and regulations, documents frequently requested under FOIA, the legislative history of the National Environmental Policy Act, and CEQ historical documents.

FOIA Resources

CEQ Chief FOIA Officer Reports

Under FOIA, Chief FOIA Officers are required to submit to the Attorney General a detailed annual report regarding agency FOIA operations.

CEQ Annual FOIA Reports

Under FOIA, Federal agencies are required to submit to the Attorney General a detailed annual report regarding their FOIA operations.

CEQ Quarterly FOIA Reports

CEQ FOIA Responses

This section of the Proactive Disclosure site contains records released by CEQ under FOIA with content likely to be the subject of additional FOIA requests. Records include written and email correspondence, among others. Redactions using FOIA exemptions as well as material determined to be nonresponsive is clearly indicated in the text. The FOIA responses below address the general topic of global climate change.

Environmental Laws and Regulations

Legislative History of NEPA



CEQ’s Annual Environmental Quality Reports 1970-1997

Environmental Quality Reports are referred to in the National Environmental Policy Act, section 201: “The President shall transmit to the Congress annually beginning July 1, 1970, an Environmental Quality Report (hereinafter referred to as the “report”) which shall set forth: (1) the status and condition of the major natural, manmade, or altered environmental classes of the Nation, including, but not limited to, the air, the aquatic, including marine, estuarine, and fresh water, and the terrestrial environment, including, but not limited to, the forest, dryland, wetland, range, urban, suburban and rural environment; (2) current and foreseeable trends in the quality, management and utilization of such environments and the effects of those trends on the social, economic, and other requirements of the Nation; (3) the adequacy of available natural resources for fulfilling human and economic requirements of the Nation in the light of expected population pressures; (4) a review of the programs and activities (including regulatory activities) of the Federal Government, the State and local governments, and nongovernmental entities or individuals with particular reference to their effect on the environment and on the conservation, development and utilization of natural resources; and (5) a program for remedying the deficiencies of existing programs and activities, together with recommendations for legislation.

CEQ published these “reports” from 1970 through 1997; 1994 and 1995 were covered in a combined 25th anniversary report. In 1995, however, Congress passed the Federal Reports Elimination and Sunset Act (Public Law 104-66) to eliminate a list of reports identified in House Document no. 103-7. CEQ’s Environmental Quality Report was listed on page 41.

Though the Federal Reports Elimination and Sunset Act eliminated the requirement to submit an annual report to Congress, CEQ continues to act in accordance with the functions and duties described in section 204 of NEPA, which includes duties to gather and provide information regarding the environment.

Frequently Requested
CEQ Historical Documents
Additional Resources