Environmental information regulations

On 1 January 2005 new Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) came into force, replacing the former regulations which were in place since 1992, giving members of the public the right to access environmental information held by public authorities and those bodies carrying out a public function.

Environmental information covers information on the state of the environment such as:

  • air, water, soil, land, flora and fauna (including human beings), diversity, genetically modified organisms
  • information on emissions and discharges, noise, energy, radiation, waste and other such substances
  • laws, policies, contracts and analyses relating to such environments
  • the state of the human health and safety, contamination of the food chain
  • cultural sites and built structures (as they may be affected by environmental factors)
  • factors affecting the above elements such as substances, energy, noise, radiation or waste, emissions, discharges into the environment.

How do I make an EIR request?

If the information you are seeking is not on our  disclosure log  you can make EIR request by:

  • filling in our online FOI request
  • in writing:
  • verbally

    Complaints and Information team
    Directorate of Law, Probity and Governance
    Mulberry Place
    5 Clove Crescent
    London
    E14 2BG
    Tel: 020 7364 4354

You should give as much detail as possible to help us identify the information you are seeking, though we will be happy to assist you with this. If we need more detail from you to identify the information, we will contact you.

How long does it take?

As with FOI, we have 20 working days to respond.bHowever, under the EIR, if the request is complex and large the time period may be extended to a maximum of 40 working days. We will advise you if we are likely to need to extend the time.

Exceptions

As for FOI there are legal reasons why information may not be released to you. These are known as exceptions. If we do not release information to you because an exception applies we will explain why.

Requests under EIR may be refused because:

  • The information is not held
  • The request is manifestly unreasonable
  • The request is too general
  • The request is for unfinished documents/data
  • The request is for internal communications

More information can be found in the Environmental information manual