The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) has issued a final rule revising its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regulations. 75 Fed. Reg. 48,585 (8/11/10). CEQ was established within the Executive Office of the President by Congress as part NEPA. CEQ’s current FOIA regulations are published at 40 C.F.R. Part 1515. They were originally published in 1977, 42 Fed. Reg. 65,158 (12/30/77), and have not been revised since.
Amendments to FOIA, including the Open Government Act of 2007 and 1996 Electronic FOIA Amendments, require changes in CEQ FOIA practices to promote openness and transparency, provide for public access to information in an electronic format and ensure a prompt and effective response to requests for information. The revised regulations include a requirement for an online FOIA Requester Service Center and Reading Room, electronic FOIA requests, a new fee structure, and expedited processing for requests with compelling need. Many of the revisions allow the CEQ regulations to conform to those of other federal agencies.