Environmental Information Regulations

The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 gives the public access rights to environmental information held by a public authority (including universities) in response to requests, similar to the Freedom of Information Act.

Freedom of access does not imply free access. There are circumstances under which requests may or must be refused, for example if the data contain personal information.

Environmental information constitutes:

  • The state of environmental elements, such as: The air, atmosphere, water, soil, land, landscape, natural sites, biological diversity and its components, genetically modified organisms and the interaction among these elements.
  • Factors such as: Substances, energy, noise, radiation, waste, emissions, discharges and other releases into the environment, affecting, or likely to affect the elements of the environment.
  • Measures such as: Policies, legislation, plans, programmes, environmental agreements and activities affecting, or likely to affect, the elements and factors, as well as measures or activities designed to protect those elements.
  • Reports on the implementation of environmental legislation.
  • Cost-benefit and other economic analyses and assumptions used within the framework of the measures and activities.
  • The state of human health and safety, including the contamination of the food chain, conditions of human life, cultural sites and built structures, in as much as they are, or may be affected by the state of the elements of the environment.