The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR's) came into force on the 1st January 2005. These Regulations give applicants the right of access to information held by the Council which relates to the environment. While the EIR's are similar to the Freedom of Information Act 2000, in ensuring applicants have access to information; there are important distinctions.
The EIR's allow applicants to request environmental information from public authorities, for example the Environment Agency, privatised utility companies and schools.
Schools have a duty under the Regulations to provide advice and assistance to all applicants. This duty is enforceable by the Information Commissioner.
A request can be verbal or written, electronic or hardcopy.
A request must usually be answered within 20 working days of receipt, however this time period can be extended to 40 working days if the request is complex and/or voluminous.
If a public authority receives a request which they believe is too general, the authority will contact the applicant as soon as possible, but within the 20 days timescale, to try to determine specifically what information it is that they would like.
Read the legislation of the Environmental Information Regulations in full.
The EIR Code of Practice sets out good practice recommendations for public authorities to follow in meeting their obligations under the Regulations.
All the guidance information contained on these pages has been developed by the Office of the Information Commissioner ( Website available here: Environmental Information Regulations - For Organisations - ICO) who are the responsible authority for overseeing the implementation of the Regulations.
For full advice and guidance you can contact the ICO helpline on 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745. It's open between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.
Or you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Their Textphone service is available between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.
Advice and Assistance
Codes of Practice
Costs and Fees
Environmental Information - General
Exceptions - Environmental
Public Interest Test
Refusing a Request
Time for Compliance
Vexatious or Repeated Requests