The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR) came into force on 1 January 2005, and allow people and organisations to request environmental information from public authorities.
If part or all of the information requested is personal information, access to that information will be dealt with under the Data Protection Act 1998
If the request for information is neither environmental nor personal it will be dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
What is Environmental Information?
This is defined broadly and covers matters relating to:
Air, water, soils, land, flora and fauna
Emissions and discharges, noise, energy, radiation, waste
Relevant policies, procedures and plans
Health & safety
Buildings and sites.
Requests may be made verbally or in writing, to any employee. They may be made by organisations or individuals. At the Institute requests should be made to the Records Manager.
Responding to Requests
Responses will be made in writing, normally within 20 working days of the receipt of the request. If the request is particularly complex it is possible to extend this period. The requestor will be informed if this is the case.
The Institute may charge fees for environmental information
In certain circumstances the Institute has the right not to provide the information requested. In particular this will be the case if the request is manifestly unreasonable; if the information requested is unfinished or if the release of the information would adversely affect the Institute. All exceptions are subject to a public interest test.
If the Institute is not willing to provide the information requested it will issue a Refusal Notice. This will contain:
- details of the Institute's complaints procedure
- the right of appeal to the Information Commissioner when the Institute complaints system has been exhausted.
The Information Commissioner has a duty to promote best practice under the FOI Act and to ensure compliance. The Information Commissioner's address is
The Office of the Information Commissioner
Cheshire SK9 5AF