How to Request Department of Pesticide Regulation Public Records
Public Records Request
The Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is committed to transparency and providing easy access to public records pursuant to the California Public Records Act (CPRA). CPRA gives the public the right to access records created and maintained by public agencies in the course of their normal business.
Any person can request public records. It does not matter who you are or why you want them. The law (Government Code section 7920.000 et seq.) requires DPR and other government agencies to make public records available on request. DPR is providing this information to assist members of the public in exercising their right to inspect and get copies of public records.
What are Public Records?
Pursuant to Government Code Section 7920.530, a public record is defined as “any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the public's business prepared, owned, used, or retained by any state or local agency regardless of physical form or characteristics."
Public records requests may be used to obtain “agency records,” which include a wide variety of documents and other materials (including print, photographic, and electronic formats) that were created or obtained by the agency and are, at the time the request is filed, in the agency's possession and control. The CPRA excludes certain categories of records from disclosure.
How to file a Public Records Act Request
DPR has a Public Records Portal (NextRequest) that allows anyone to submit a request, correspond with Department staff, and track requests online.
Record requests can also be made in person, by telephone, or via U.S. Post. If sending by U.S. Post, please send written requests to:
Department of Pesticide Regulation
P. O. Box 4015
Sacramento, CA 95812-4015
To ask for a public record, or if you need more information on how to make a request, contact DPR's Executive Office at (916) 445-4300.
You are not required to make your request in writing. However, making a written request can both streamline the response process and help us accurately identify the records you are asking for. Your written request does not need to be in any particular form, but it will help us respond more quickly if you include a clear and specific description of the records you are asking for. If possible, identify dates, subjects, titles, and authors of the records requested. If needed, DPR staff can help you focus your request by describing the type of records that we have and providing other suggestions for simplifying access.
Anyone with a disability who requires accommodation to access DPR public records should notify us of their accommodation needs.
Information About CPRA Request Submissions
DPR is subject to California laws relating to public records. All information contained in a CPRA request, including a requester's information, is considered public record, and may be subject to public inspection, pursuant to Government Code Section 7920.530.
How Do I Request Records Related to Pesticide Registration?
Requests to inspect or get a copy of records related to registration of pesticide products (including studies and data) are subject to special rules under the Public Records Act (Government Code Section 7924.500-7924.335). This is to protect trade secret information considered confidential under federal law.
Are There Fees Involved in Getting Records?
Inspecting records is always free. If you request copies of information that is only available in printed form, or if you want a printout of electronic data, the cost will be 35 cents a page. Reasonable fees to cover other types of reproduction costs may be charged.
If your request is for an electronic record that requires data compilation, extraction, or special programming, you must pay for that work.
We will let you know about any fees in advance and you must pay them before we can provide the requested records. (To reduce costs, you may wish to ask to inspect the records first to reduce the material you want copied. If you wish, you may bring in a portable copier and make your own copies.)
If the information you request is available electronically, the file(s) can be made available via NextRequest at no cost.
When Will DPR Respond to my Records Request?
DPR responds to requests for public records through its public records portal (NextRequest). Pursuant to Government Code section 7922.535, DPR will determine whether it has disclosable records within 10 days from receipt of a request. In certain cases (for example, the request is for “voluminous” files, requires consultation with another agency, is for records held off-site, or other circumstances defined in Government Code 7922.535(c)), an agency can, with written notice to the requestor, give itself another 14 days to respond.
If disclosable records exist, DPR will make every effort to provide responsive non-exempt records within a reasonable timeframe; however, response times will vary depending on the types and volume of records requested and the scope or timeframe of the request.
How Soon Will I Get the Records?
The requested documents can either be made available with the initial response or within a reasonable time after. It is DPR's policy that records which are not exempt from disclosure by State law will be open for public inspection with the least possible delay and expense to the requesting party. (Please note that the law does not require agencies to create new documents that otherwise would not exist, simply to respond to a request, or to create lists or reports in response to questions. In addition, you cannot request documents that have not yet been created, that is, you cannot make requests into the future.)
When May Public Records be Inspected?
Public records are open to inspection during DPR office hours, 8:00 a.m. - noon and 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except for State holidays. To ensure that your requested documents are ready and available, it helps if you make an appointment, although this is not required. Public records maintained by off-site may not be readily available for inspection. It is strongly recommended that you contact DPR in advance to ensure that the records are available. An appointment may need to be scheduled if the records must be located and reviewed or redacted for exempt information. Inspecting public records is subject to a rule of reason regarding time and duration and must be consistent with the efficient functioning of our offices.
What Records Are Not Open for Inspection or Will Not be Disclosed?
In balancing the public's right to access public records with the recognized individual right of privacy and the need for government agencies to be able to competently perform their duties, the Legislature has established certain categories of records as exempt from public disclosure.
A list of statutory exemptions is in the Public Records Act (Government Code, beginning with Section 7921.000). Exemption categories include:
- Preliminary drafts, notes, or inter-agency or intra-agency memoranda which are not kept by DPR in the ordinary course of business, provided that the public interest in withholding such records clearly outweighs the public interest in disclosure.
- Records regarding pending litigation to which DPR is a party, or to claims made under Government Code Division 3.6 (beginning with Section 810) until the litigation or claim has been adjudicated or otherwise settled.
- Personnel, medical, or similar files, the disclosure of which would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
- Trade secrets as defined in Evidence Code section 1060 except as required by law.
- Records of complaints to or investigations conducted by DPR for licensing purposes.
- Test questions, scoring keys, and other examination data used to administer a licensing examination, examination for employment, or academic examination.
- Records of which the disclosure is exempt or prohibited under provisions of federal or state law, including but not limited to provisions of the Evidence Code relating to privilege.
- Correspondence of and to the Governor or employees of the Governor's Office or in the custody of or maintained by the Governor's legal affairs secretary.
DPR also has the discretion not to disclose records which do not qualify for a specific exemption under the Public Records Act if it determines that the public interest served by not making the record public clearly outweighs the public interest served by disclosure, under Government Code Section 7922.000. DPR's determination to disclose a particular record which may otherwise be exempt from disclosure does not constitute a waiver with respect to any other records.
What if I Wish to Challenge DPR's Determination Not to Disclose Records?
If DPR has declined to provide access to records it possesses that a person has requested, the Public Records Act, Government Code Section 7923.000, provides that any person may seek injunctive or declarative relief in any court of competent jurisdiction to enforce the right to inspect or to receive a copy of any public record.
Where Can I Get More Information on the Public Records Act?
The California Attorney General's Office has published an 84-page summary, PDF of the Public Records Act.