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Web policy

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality provides its World Wide Web site as a public service. This Internet privacy policy statement is a description of DEQ's current practices and shall not be construed as a contractual undertaking. DEQ reserves the right to amend its Internet Privacy Policy and this statement at any time without notice. DEQ's privacy and public records obligations are governed solely by applicable Virginia statutes, including, but not limited to, the Virginia Privacy Protection Act of 1976, the Virginia Freedom of Information Act and any applicable United States federal laws.

Information about users

The DEQ Internet computer system automatically collects summary information about individuals who use this web site and what those individuals look at. DEQ's computer system uses industry-standard software to create summary statistics, which are used for such things as assessing what information is of most and least interest, determining technical design specifications, and identifying system performance or problem areas.

Here is an example of the information automatically collected based on a standard request for a web document: -- [01/Sep/2000:00:00:14 -0500] "GET /info/homepage.html HTTP/1.1" 200 13365

  • -- This is the host name, or Internet provider address, associated with the user. Depending on the user's method of network connection, the host name may or may not identify a specific computer. Connections via many Internet service providers assign different IP addresses for each session, so the host name identifies only the service provider. The host name will identify a specific computer if that computer has a fixed IP address.
  • [01/Sep/2000:00:00:014 -0500] -- This is the date and time of the request.
  • "GET /info/homepage.html HTTP/1.1" -- This is the location of the requested file on the DEQ server.
  • 200 -- This is the status code; 200 means the request was filled.
  • 13365 -- This is the size of the requested file in bytes.

Requests for other types of documents use similar information. DEQ does not collect any other user-identifying information from the web use statistics.

For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, the DEQ computer system employs industry-standard methods to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage.

No other attempts are made to identify individual users or their usage habits.

Other identifying information

In certain applications, user information is stored as a "cookie," which is a file automatically created by the DEQ Internet computer and placed on the user's computer to enable the application to work. A notice appears on any DEQ web page that uses cookies. No user information is gathered through cookies except for that needed to run the specific application.

Where identifying information is asked of a user (for example, to respond to an information request), that information may be used for responding to a comment or question. If a user uses an e-mail link on a web page of this site to contact DEQ staff, the e-mail address and any other user-associated information included in the e-mail may be retained by staff to ensure that an appropriate response is provided or to maintain contact with the user if appropriate. Under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, any records in the possession of DEQ may be subject to being inspected by or disclosed to members of the public for any purpose they may desire.

There is no legal requirement for a user to provide any information at the DEQ web site. However, the web site will not work without the automatically collected information described above in "Information about users." For any additional information that is requested at the web site, failure to provide the requested information will mean that the particular feature or service associated with that part of the web site will not be available to the user.

Links to outside sites

DEQ provides links to many web sites that are not controlled, maintained or regulated by DEQ, or any organization affiliated with the Commonwealth of Virginia. DEQ is not responsible for the content of those web sites. Use of information obtained from those web sites is voluntary, and reliance on that information should be undertaken only after an independent review of its accuracy. Reference at those web sites to any specific commercial product, process or service by trade name, trademark or otherwise does not constitute or imply endorsement, recommendation or favoring by DEQ or any other state government agency.

Use of information outside DEQ

DEQ does not sell or rent information about web site users to any outside company or organization. DEQ does not reveal specific information about users or other personally identifiable data to unaffiliated third parties for their independent use, except if required to do so by the Virginia Freedom of Information Act or other law.

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