The legislation governing Access to Information on the Environment (AIE) is the European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007. This gives legal rights to those seeking access to environmental information from public authorities.
These Regulations were amended by the European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2011. Both pieces of legislation are to be read together and can be referred to as the European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007 to 2011. An unofficial consolidated version of the Regulations has been prepared by the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government for ease of reference.
The Regulations outline the manner in which requests for information may be submitted to public authorities. The Regulations also provide for a formal appeals procedure in the event that a person is unhappy with a decision on their request.
The AIE Regulations operates in parallel with the Freedom of Information Act 2014. While these two pieces of legislation are broadly similar with respect to environmental information, there are material differences in the grounds under which access to information can be refused under the two pieces of legislation.
How to Make a Request
When making a request for information under the AIE Regulations you are required to:
- state that the application is being made under the AIE Regulations and submit it in writing (hard copy or email) to the Freedom of Information Officer
- provide your contact details
- state, in terms that are as specific as possible, the environmental information required, and the form and manner of access desired (e.g. Do you wish to be given photocopies? Do you wish to view the original documents?)
Normally you will be notified of the decision on your request within 1 month of its receipt.
You have the right to appeal this decision to the Commissioner for Environmental Information. A fee of €150 will normally be charged. A reduced fee of €50 applies for medical card holders and their dependents, and also for people, not party to the original request for access to information, who are appealing a decision to release information which they believe will affect them.
Contact details for information other than making a request
Mr Bertie Kelly, Commercial Manager, National College of Ireland, Mayor Square, IFSC, Dublin 1.