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EPA Part 2 Section 202

Subpart B--Confidentiality of Business Information

Sec. 2.202  Applicability of subpart; priority where provisions conflict;
records containing more than one kind of information.

    (a) Sections 2.201 through 2.215 establish basic rules governing 
business confidentiality claims, the handling by EPA of business 
information which is or may be entitled to confidential treatment, and 
determinations by EPA of whether information is entitled to confidential 
treatment for reasons of business confidentiality.
    (b) Various statutes (other than 5 U.S.C. 552) under which EPA 
operates contain special provisions concerning the entitlement to 
confidential treatment of information gathered under such statutes. 
Sections 2.301 through 2.311 prescribe rules for treatment of certain 
categories of business information obtained under the various statutory 
provisions. Paragraph (b) of each of those sections should be consulted 
to determine whether any of those sections applies to the particular 
information in question.
    (c) The basic rules of Secs. 2.201 through 2.215 govern except to 
the extent that they are modified or supplanted by the special rules of 
Secs. 2.301 through 2.311. In the event of a conflict between the 
provisions of the basic rules and those of a special rule which is 
applicable to the particular information in question, the provision of 
the special rule shall govern.
    (d) If two or more of the sections containing special rules apply to 
the particular information in question, and the applicable sections 
prescribe conflicting special rules for the treatment of the 
information, the rule which provides greater or wider availability to 
the public of the information shall govern.
    (e) For most purposes, a document or other record may usefully be 
treated as a single unit of information, even though in fact the 
document or record is comprised of a collection of individual items of 
information. However, in applying the provisions of this subpart, it 
will often be necessary to separate the individual items of information 
into two or more categories, and to afford different treatment to the 
information in each such category. The need for differentiation of this 
type may arise, e.g., because a business confidentiality claim covers 
only a portion of a record, or because only a portion of the record is 
eligible for confidential treatment. EPA offices taking action under 
this subpart must be alert to this problem.
    (f) In taking actions under this subpart, EPA offices should 
consider whether it is possible to obtain the affected business's consent
to disclosure of useful portions of records while protecting the 
information which is or may be entitled to confidentiality (e.g., by 
withholding such portions of a record as would identify a business, or 
by disclosing data in the form of industry-wide aggregates, multi-year 
averages or totals, or some similar form).
    (g) This subpart does not apply to questions concerning entitlement 
to confidential treatment or information which concerns an individual 
solely in his personal, as opposed to business, capacity.
[41 FR 36902, Sept. 1, 1976, as amended at 43 FR 40000, Sept. 8, 1978; 
50 FR 51661, Dec. 18, 1985]


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