The European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations, 2007 - 2014 gives legal rights to those seeking access to information on the environment from public authorities. Under the Regulations, information relating to the environment held by, or for, a public authority must, subject to certain exceptions, be made available on request to any person.
Categories of Information that may be accessed:
· The state of the elements of the environment, e.g. air, water, soil, land, landscape, biological diversity.
· Factors affecting, or likely to affect, the elements of the environment, e.g. energy, noise, radiation, waste, other releases into the environment.
· Measures designed to protect the elements of the environment, e.g. policies, legislation, plans, programmes, environmental agreements.
· Reports on the implementation of environmental legislation.
· Analyses and assumptions used within the framework of measures designed to protect the environment.
· The state of human health and safety, the food chain, cultural sites and built structures inasmuch as they may be affected by the elements of the environment.
Please note: Article 4(1) provides that the A.I.E. Regulations do not apply to environmental information that is required to be made available under any other statutory provision, for inspection or otherwise, to the public.
There is no initial fee required when lodging a request for environmental information under the AIE Regulations.
The Regulations do, however, provide that a public authority may charge a reasonable fee for supplying information to cover costs of copying, printing &/or postage.
How to make an AIE request
All applications for Access to Information on the Environment should be made in writing and addressed to Francis Gaffney, Access to Information on the Environment Officer, Leitrim County Council, Environment Section, Aras an Chontae, Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim, or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
The request should
· State that the application is being made under the Access to Information on the Environment Regulations and be submitted in writing or electronic form,
· Provide your contact details,
· State, in terms that are as specific as possible, the environmental information required, and specify the form and manner of access desired.
Normally, decisions on requests made under the Regulations are notified within one month of their receipt by this Authority.
If you require assistance with your application or need further information, please see contact details above or telephone 071 9620005.
Right of Appeal
If your request for environmental information is refused wholly or partially, or you consider that your request was not properly dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the AIE Regulations, you may, not later than one month following receipt of the decision, request the Council to carry out an internal review of the decision.
No fee will be charged for the internal review process.
A written outcome of the review, informing you of the decision, the reason for the decision and advising you of your right of appeal to the Commissioner for Environmental Information, will normally be issued to you within one month of the date of receipt of the review request.
If you are not satisfied with the decision following the internal review process, you are entitled to appeal the matter by writing, within one month of receipt of the decision, to the Commissioner for Environmental Information at the following address: Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Information, 18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2, Tel: 01 6785222, website: www.oic.ie/. The AIE Regulations provide that a fee of €50 must be charged for an appeal to the Commissioner. However, provision is also made for a reduced appeal fee of €15 for medical card holders and their dependents.
Number of Requests received by Leitrim County Council
For further general information on Access to Information on the Environment please refer to the Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government website at www.environ.ie/en/Environment/AccesstoInformationontheEnvironment/