[excerpted from: Federal Register: October 1, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 190)]
System Name: OCEFT/NEIC Master Tracking System.
System Location: National Enforcement Investigations Center, Office of Criminal Enforcement, Forensics & Training, Environmental Protection Agency, P.O. Box 25227, Denver Federal Center, Denver, Colorado 80225.
Categories of Individuals Covered by the System: Subjects of investigation about whom data has been collected by criminal investigators of the Office of Criminal Enforcement, Forensics and Training, Criminal Investigation Division, and assembled in the form of investigative reports concerning violations of federal environmental statutes and regulations; persons who provide information and evidence that is used to substantiate environmental criminal violations are also covered by this system of records.
Categories of Records in the System:
- Computer Indexes: Computerized records systems for internal tracking and management of NEIC environmental enforcement technical support projects, and includes for each technical support project, a description of the project, a schedule of project milestones, the current project status, a listing of personnel working on the project, and the environmental statutes at issue. Each project may be named, for either a company or an individual, depending on the nature of the violations being investigated or on the basis of the type of support activity being provided by OCEFT/NEIC. These indexes also contain enforcement data such as planned dates for search warrants or facility inspections and types of sampling or analyses to be conducted.
- Project Files. Documentary information relating to an enforcement matter to which OCEFT/NEIC is providing support, including, but are not limited to, correspondence (case coordination reports, memos of conversation, and other records of communication relating to the matter); witness interviews (on-site statements of interviews generated by either an NEIC investigator or another agency or person); regulatory history (permits and reports generated as a result of normal program activity); technical support (project reports generated as a result of the investigation); inspection notes; financial information; sampling and laboratory notes and other related investigative information.
Authority for Maintenance of the System (includes any revisions or amendments): Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1970 (5 U.S.C. app. 1), effective December 2, 1970; Powers of Environmental Protection Agency, 18 U.S.C.3063; Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. 9603; Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, 42 U.S.C. 6928; Federal Water Pollution Control Act, 33 U.S.C. 1319, 1321; Toxic Substances Control Act, 15 U.S.C. 2614, 2615; Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. 7413; Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, 7 U.S.C. 136j, 136l; Safe Drinking Water Act, 42 U.S.C. 300h-2, 300i-1; Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act of 1986, 42 U.S.C. 11045; and the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972, 33 U.S.C. 1415.
Purpose(s): To provide support in investigations of persons or organizations alleged to have violated any Federal environmental statute or regulation or, pursuant to a cooperative agreement with a state, local, or tribal authority, an environmental statute or regulation of such authority.
Routine Uses of Records Maintained in the System, Including Categories of Users and the Purposes of Such Uses: General routine uses A, C, D, E, F, G, H, and K apply to this system. Records may also be disclosed:
- To a potential source of information to the extent necessary to elicit information or to obtain cooperation of that source in furtherance of an EPA criminal investigation.
- To the Department of Justice for consultation about what information and records are required to be publicly released under federal law.
- To a federal agency in response to a valid subpoena.
- To Federal and state government agencies responsible for administering suspension and debarment programs.
- To international law enforcement organizations if the information is relevant to a violation or potential violation of civil or criminal law or regulation within the jurisdiction of the organization or a law enforcement agency that is a member of the organization.
- To the news media and public unless it is determined that the release of the specific information in the context of a particular case would constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy.
- To any person if the EPA determines that compelling circumstances affecting human health, the environment, or property warrant disclosure.
- In connection with criminal prosecutions or plea negotiations to the extent that disclosure of the information is relevant and necessary to the prosecution or negotiation and except where court orders are otherwise required under section (b)(11) of the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(11).
Policies and Practices For Storing, Retrieving, Accessing, Retaining, and Disposing of Records in the System:
Storage: Hard copy files and computer databases.
Retrievability: Project Files are assigned a project file number and records are maintained in numerical order. The computer index may use the project title, the name of an individual, or the name of an organization to retrieve data and records.
Safeguards: Computer records are maintained in a secure, password protected computer system. Paper records are maintained in lockable file cabinets. All records are maintained in secure, access-controlled areas or buildings.
Retention and Disposal: Computerized data from the system is retained for a period of ten years, then removed from the system and stored on hard disk. Project files relating to criminal investigations are retained according to EPA Records Schedules. Closed project files are retained no less than two years and no more than five years in the office. Criminal project files are destroyed by the Federal Records Center no less than five years and no more than fifteen years after the closing date depending on prosecution status. Project files relating to civil investigations are retained according to media specific EPA Records Retention schedules for civil investigations. Depending on the media, closed files are retained no less than 1 year and no more than 3 years in the office. Project files classified as disposable are retained by the Federal Records Center no less than three years and no more than eight years depending on the media. Project Files classified as permanent records are transferred from the Federal Records Center to the National Archives from 15-18 years after the closing date depending on the media.
System Manager(s) and Address: Director, National Enforcement Investigations Center, Office of Criminal Enforcement, Forensics and Training, P.O. Box 25227, Denver Federal Center, Denver, Colorado 80225.
Notification Procedures: Any individual who wants to know whether this system of records contains a record about him or her, who wants access to his or her record, or who wants to contest the contents of a record, should make a written request to the System Manager.
Access Procedure: To the extent permitted under the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a(j) or (k)(2), this system has been exempted from the provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974 that permit access and correction. Exemptions from access may be complete or partial, depending on the particular exemption applicable. However, EPA may, in its discretion, grant individual requests for access and correction if it determines that the exercise of these rights will not interfere with an interest that the exemption is intended to protect. Requesters will be required to provide adequate identification, such as a driver's license, employee identification card, or other identifying document. Additional identification procedures may be required in some instances.
Contesting Procedure: Requests for correction or amendment must identify the record to be changed and the corrective action sought. Complete EPA Privacy Act procedures are set out in 40 CFR Part 16.
Record Source Categories: EPA employees and officials; employees of Federal contractors; employees of other Federal agencies and of State, local, tribal, and foreign agencies; witnesses; informants; public source materials, and other persons who may have information relevant to OCEFT/NEIC investigations.
Systems Exempted From certain Provisions of the Act: Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2) this system is exempt from the following provisions of the Privacy Act: 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) and (4); (d); (e)(1), (e)(2), (e)(3), (e)(4)(G), (e)(4)(H), (e)(5) and (e)(8); (f)(2) through (5); and (g). Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2), this system is exempt from the following provisions of the Privacy Act, subject to the limitations set forth in that subsection: 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3), (d), (e)(1), (e)(4)(G), (e)(4)(H), and (f)(2) through (5).