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Access to Information on the Environment

Access to Information on the Environment (AIE)

Directive 2003/4/EC of the European Parliament provides that, subject to certain exceptions, information relating to the environment held by, or for, a public authority must be made available on request to any person, without that person having to state an interest. The European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007 (S.I. 133 of 2007), give legal rights to those seeking access to information on the environment from public authorities. They were amended by the European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2011, (S.I. 662 of 2011). Both pieces of legislation are to be read together and to be construed as one and can be referred to as the European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007 to 2011.

When making a request for information under the Access to Information on the Environment Regulations you are required to:

  • State that the application is being made under the AIE Regulations
  • Submit it in writing by post, email or fax
  • Provide your contact details
  • Specify the form and manner of access desired

Normally you will be notified of the decision on your request within 1 month of its receipt.

 

What can I do if I am unhappy with a decision on my request?

If you consider that your original request for environmental information was refused wholly or partially, or was otherwise not properly dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the AIE Regulations, you may, not later than one month following the receipt of the decision of the public authority, request the public authority to carry out an internal review of the decision in part or in whole. 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, including the time limits and fees associated with such an appeal, will be issued to you within one month of the date of receipt of the request.

How do I make an appeal to the Commissioner for Environmental Information?

A written appeal should be submitted to the Commissioner for Environmental Information (Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Information, 18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2. Telephone: 01- 6395689). Further contact details and information on the Commissioner’s Office are contained on the Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) website at www.oic.ie.

The AIE Regulations provide that a fee of €150 must be charged for an appeal to the Commissioner for Environmental Information. However, provision is also made for a reduced appeal fee of €50 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.

Further Information:

Further information on the AIE Regulations is set out in the Official Guidelines which accompany the AIE Regulations. These Guidelines are intended to assist and offer guidance to public authorities on the implementation of the AIE Regulations and to applicants who wish to access environmental information.

AIE Regulation (S.I. 133 of 2007) :  http://www.environ.ie/en/aboutus/accesstoinformationontheenvironment/rhlegislation/filedownload,2479,en.pdf

Guidance Notes:  http://www.environ.ie/en/AboutUs/AccesstoInformationontheEnvironment/RHLegislation/FileDownLoad,2481,en.pdf

Applications for Access to Information on the Environment should be made to:

Registrar’s Office,
The Freedom of Information Officer,
Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies,
10 Burlington Road,
Dublin 4.
Telephone: +353-1- 6140188
Facsimile: +353-1-6140160

E-mail: foi@dias.ie