Environmental Information Regulations
Introduction to environmental information
Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) cover information on the state of the environment, including but not limited to:
- Elements of environment.
- Administrative and operative measures (affecting 1 & 2).
- Reports and economic factors.
- Human health and safety.
The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) website provides detailed information on EIR's.
Unlike Freedom of Information (FOI) requests which need to be made in writing a request under EIR can be made verbally, although we encourage them to be put into writing to ensure a clear audit trail. Requests can be sent by email by using the 'Send a message to service', this is found in the contact tab above. Alternatively you can send via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to Corporate Information Unit, again our contact details can be found in the contact tab above. We have an obligation to reply to the EIR request within 20 working days.
Information covered by EIR
All information that is considered to be ‘environmental’ in nature and falls under the definition will be in the form of:
- Anything written down.
- Sound recordings.
- Electronic files.
Please note: The same process applies as with FOI requests - there is no requirement to create information.
Departments affected by EIR
Departments that are likely to hold information that may be considered ‘environmental’ in nature, include but are not limited to:
- Environmental Health.
- Refuse Collection and Waste Management.
- Energy Efficiency (Strategic Asset Management).
- Planning Services.
- Fire and rescue Service.
Exceptions are similar to exemptions under FOI. However, all exceptions are subject to the public interest test and it is for the Council to justify their use and include:
- Unfinished documents/incomplete data.
- Internal communications.
- Adversely affect matters such as confidentiality of public authority proceedings.
- Personal data.
The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) website provides more information on EIR exceptions
The Public Interest Test
The decision of whether, in relation to a request for information, it serves the interests of the public either to disclose the information or to maintain an exception in respect of the information requested.
General points in favour of release include:
- Promotion of accountability and transparency.
- Bringing to light information affecting public health and safety.
- Timing of request.
- Financial considerations.