Everyone a right to see the environmental information that we collect and hold. If the information you want relates to environmental issues then your request will be handled under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR). It includes things like air and water quality, noise, waste and radiation and the plans or activities that affect these.
To check to see if we have already published what you want, see our Publication Scheme.
Requests can be made verbally or in writing to the Information Compliance Team. A written request will make it easier for us to ensure that the correct information is supplied.
When you make your request you will need to:
- Tell us your name and address - so that we can send you the information
- Give us a contact telephone number - in case we have to ask you for more details to help us to find the information more quickly
- Give us as much detail as possible to help us to find the information you have asked for
What happens next
We must provide 'advice and assistance' under the legislation, and so if your request is too general we may contact you to find out exactly what information you want. We will do this as soon as we can.
When we have all the information we need to process a request, we have 20 working days in which to supply you with the information, except in circumstances where the information is very complex or there is a lot of it. In these circumstances, the time limit can be extended by a further 20 working days. If we do need to do this we will always contact you to let you know, and give you an idea of when we expect to be able to respond in full.
We cannot charge you for allowing you:
- access to any public registers or lists of environmental information
- to examine the information (at a place of our choosing)
However, for all other situations we will charge the following:
- 1-4 sheets - Free
- 5-20 sheets - £10.00
- 21-50 sheets - £20.00
- 51-100 sheets - £50.00
- 101 + sheets - Price on application
We will always contact you if we think there will be a charge.
A list of other fees that may apply are available via the our Charging Policy. There may also be charges that apply if the information requested can be obtained from Land Charges.
Some of the differences between the EIRs and the FOI are the following.
- The EIRs only cover environmental information. FOI covers all information held by public authorities except environmental information.
- EIRs allow an extension of no more than a further 20 working days if the request is both complex and voluminous. FOI allows public authorities further time to consider the public interest.
- EIRs requests can be in any format. FOI requests must be in writing.
- EIRs allows authorities to make a charge for information providing it is reasonable. FOI has a charge limit below which information is provided free of charge.
- EIRs have a different, and generally narrower, range of exceptions than the exemptions in the FOI. There is however a particular exception in the EIRs for information whose disclosure could adversely affect the environment.
The definition of environmental information is very broad and includes information on:
- the state of elements of the environment (such as air, water, soil, and, landscape and natural sites, flora and fauna, including cattle, crops, GMO's, wildlife and biological diversity) and interaction between them
- the state of human health and safety, conditions of human life, the food chain cultural sites and built structures in as much as they are or may be affected by the state of the elements of the environment and interaction between them
- substances, energy, noise, radiation or waste affecting or likely to affect the state of the elements of the environment and interaction between them
- measures (including administrative measures, policies, legislation, plans, programmes and environmental agreements) and activities affecting or likely to affect, or intended to protect the state of elements of the environment and the interaction between them
- emissions discharges and other releases into the environment
- cost benefit and other economic analysis used in environmental decision making
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