The Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) 2004 provides additional rights of access for members of the public to information held by the Council that relates to the environment. These rights are enacted across the whole of the European Union. The law defines environmental information as information relating to the state of the environment, including elements of the environment such as air, water, soil and landscape.

Requests for environmental information

Any member of the public is entitled to submit a request for environmental information that is held by the Council. Regardless of the wording of the request, we must identify whether the requested information is environmental in nature and then consider it for release under the EIR. If you wish to submit a request please use the contact us form and make sure you include your correspondence address. As with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000, the Council will issue a response within twenty working days.

Exceptions

Although wider reaching than the FOIA, the EIR do not provide for unlimited access to all of the environmental information held by the Council. The regulations contain restrictions to information that can be released in response to a request. These are referred to as exceptions. If the Council decides not to release environmental information in response to a request it must clearly state the exception that is being relied upon. Requests for environmental information can be made verbally or in writing and a correspondence address must be provided. For the purpose of clarity we would normally recommend that requests are made in writing where possible. If you wish to submit a request please use the contact details at the bottom of the page.

Complaints and reviews

If you are unhappy with the response that you have received to a request for information you are entitled to complain to the Council and request that an internal review of the decision be conducted. The review panel will consist of senior officers who were not involved in the original decision. Requests for internal review can be submitted through the same channels as the original request. If you remain dissatisfied after the completion of an internal review, you are entitled to complain directly to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) who will consider the way in which your request has been handled. As with the FOIA, The ICO is the regulator for the Regulations and offers impartial advice about any aspect of the regime. The ICO publishes extensive guidance for members of the public through its website.

Further information

If you require any further information regarding making a request for environmental information or any other aspect of the Environmental Information Regulations please contact us.

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