Codified Laws

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     1-40-31.   Full public disclosure of nonconfidential public records--Reproduction--Fee--Waiver--Response time to written requests--Denial of disclosure--Appeals--Promulgation of rules--Attorney's fees and costs for denial of access to hazardous waste public records. Full public inspection and disclosure of all nonconfidential public records relating to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and those activities within its jurisdiction shall be allowed. The department shall make available for public inspection and disclosure all public records subject to inspection pursuant to § 1-26-2 and chapter 1-27. The department shall provide for the reproduction of all public records subject to inspection and reasonably capable of being reproduced and may impose a fee to recover the reasonable cost of reproduction. Any fee imposed for records reproduction shall be promulgated pursuant to chapter 1-26 and shall provide for fee waiver for public records requests from the press or communications media, public interest groups, educational organizations, and institutions of government. The department shall respond to all written requests for public records within twenty working days of the date when the request was received. The department may deny inspection and disclosure of any public record not subject to inspection under chapter 1-27, or held confidential pursuant to statute or court order. Written notice of denial of inspection or disclosure shall be provided to the person making the request. Such denial or failure by the department to respond within twenty working days shall be considered final agency action and may be appealed to circuit court as provided in chapter 1-26. The secretary, pursuant to chapter 1-26, may promulgate rules to implement the provisions of this section.
     Any person denied access to any hazardous waste public record required under chapter 34A-11 may recover in circuit court reasonable attorney's fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred in an action against the state if the requestor substantially prevails on judicial review.

Source: SL 1992, ch 254, § 96.

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