CEQ Proactive Disclosure 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documents frequently requested under FOIA, the legislative history of the National Environmental Policy Act, and CEQ historical documents.



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.





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


  • 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.
  • Section 1609 (c) Reports
    Section 1609(c) of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 requires that agencies report to Congress on the status and progress of NEPA reviews for Recovery Act funded projects and activities.  The President has assigned reporting responsibility to CEQ .