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Environmental Information Regulations 2004: Wikis

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The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR) is a UK Statutory Instrument (SI 2004 No. 3391) that provides a statutary right of access to environmental information held by UK public authorities. The regulations came into force on 1 January 2005[1]. The regulations were made by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs under the authority provided by the European Communities Act 1972, entering into force on 1 January 2005, along with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

The regulations extend to some non-governmental bodies such as water companies[2].

Contents

Definition of 'Environmental Information'

Environmental information includes information about air, water, soil, land, flora and fauna, energy, noise, waste and emissions. Environmental Information also includes information about decisions, policies and activities that affect the environment.[3].

It is accepted by the UK Government that most maps will contain environmental information.

Public authorities

The coverage of the Environmental Information Regulations is greater than that of the Freedom of Information Act 2000[4], although there are bodies such as the BBC which are covered by the Freedom of Information Act but not by the EIR. The Freedom of Information Act sets out a list of the bodies and classes of bodies that are public authorities, the EIR is less prescriptive.

MI5 acknowledge that they are covered by the EIR and have published Environmental Information on their website[5].

Requests under the regulations

One is that requests for information under the Regulations do not have be made in writing, they can be made verbally. The exemptions that public sector authorities can claim under the Regulations are structured somewhat differently as well. In many cases they are narrower in their scope and application. As with the Freedom of Information Act, public authorities have 20 working days from the receipt of a request to provide the information to the requester.

Repeal

Upon entry into force of these regulations, they repealed the Environmental Information Regulations 1992 and the Environmental Information Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1993 and two other statutory instruments that amended those regulations.

References

External links

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