SWCAA Public Records Policy

The Southwest Clean Air Agency (Agency) is committed to providing full access to public records in accordance with the Washington State Public Records Act, chapter 42.56 RCW. The public is encouraged to view information/public records available on the Agency’s website before submitting a Request for Public Record.

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How to Make a Request for Public Record^

A Request for Public Record may be submitted via regular mail, e-mail, fax, verbally or online. Each request should include the following information:

  1. Name, mailing address, e-mail address (if available), and daytime phone number of the person making the request;
  2. Date and time of day of the request; and
  3. Identification of the public records being requested.

The Agency encourages as much specificity as possible in the request to enable the Agency to more efficiently locate and provide the requested records.

Send a Request for Public Record(s) to the Agency’s Public Records Officer:

Attn: Executive Director
Southwest Clean Air Agency
11815 NE 99th Street, Suite 1294
Vancouver, WA 98682
Phone: 360-574-3058
Fax: 360-576-0925

How the Agency Responds to a Request for Public Record^

The Agency will process received requests in the order that allows all requests to be processed in the most efficient manner. A request is considered received on the date that the Agency receives it, not when the request was sent.

The Agency places a high priority on responding to public records requests in a timely manner. Within five business days of receipt of a request, the Agency will do one or more of the following:

  1. Make requested records available for inspection with copying, and if requested, mailing the records as soon as practicable;
  2. Acknowledge receipt of the request and provide a reasonable estimate of when requested records will be available for inspection and copying by the Agency;
  3. Seek clarification of an unclear request;
  4. Deny a request and cite the legal exemption(s) supporting the denial.

The Agency may need additional time to respond to a request for the following reasons:

  1. To clarify a request;
  2. Locate and assemble records responsive to a request;
  3. Notify third persons or agencies affected by a request and provide them with the opportunity to seek a court order preventing disclosure where appropriate; and/or
  4. Determine whether a record is exempt from disclosure.

If a requester fails to clarify an unclear request, the Agency will treat the request as withdrawn. The Agency may produce copies of requested records on a partial or installment basis. If an installment is not claimed or reviewed by a requester, the Agency may choose to not fulfill the balance of the request.

Please be aware that one way the Agency may produce a public record is to provide a link to an electronic record on the Agency’s website.

If a request for public record is denied, the Agency will provide a written statement specifying the reason(s) for denial, including a statement identifying the legal exemption being relied upon and a brief explanation of how that exemption applies to the record being withheld.

How Much Does It Cost to Review Public Records^

There is no fee for the requester to review the Agency’s public records. The Agency will provide space for requesters to review public records at the Agency’s office during regular office hours at a time and date mutually convenient to the Agency and the requester. The Agency is located at:

Southwest Clean Air Agency
11815 NE 99th Street, Suite 1294
Vancouver, WA 98682.

Its office hours are Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

The process used will involve the Agency locating and providing to requester all public records that are desired to be reviewed. After the requester has identified all of the public records which the requester wants to have a copy of, the Agency will then make the copies for the requester. There is no fee for the Agency’s time spent locating records or for preparing records for inspection or copying.

For copies of Agency records, there is a $0.15 per-page fee for standard black and white photocopies that are produced by the Agency. In addition, the Agency may charge for the actual cost of making nonstandard copies; these include electronic copies, color copies, and copies of over-sized documents and photographs.

Payment for copies is required in advance or at the time the requester receives the copies. When a requester inspects records at the Agency’s office, the requester must pay for those copies at the time they receive the copies. If copies are to be mailed to the requester, payment is required in advance, and the Agency may charge for postage and the mailing envelope or container.

The Agency may require a deposit of up to 10% of the estimated cost of copying records prior to copying any records. If copies need to be produced in installments for reasons such as the size of the request, the Agency may require payment for each installment before the remaining installments are made available to a requester.

Public records requests received sent to the Agency by U.S. mail or E-mail will be honored in the same manner as in-person requests for inspection and copying of public records. 

How Public Records are Organized^

The Agency finds that maintaining an index (as provided in RCW 42.56.070) for use by the public would be unduly burdensome and would interfere with Agency operations given the small size of the Agency and the high volume and types of public records generated and received by the Agency. The Agency maintains its records in a reasonably organized manner and takes reasonable actions to protect records from disorganization and damage.

Additional Information^
  • Under the Washington State Public Records Act, the Agency is not required to answer written questions, create new public records, or provide information in a format that is different from an existing public record.
  • Public records must be preserved. Therefore, public records may not be removed from a viewing area, disassembled or altered.
  • Commercial use of any lists of individuals is prohibited.
  • A request for a public record is a public record itself and is subject to disclosure under the Act.