Environmental Information Regulations
Some requests for information do not fall under FOI but may instead be requests for Environmental information.
The Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) cover information on:
- the state of the elements of the environment, such as air, water, land
- flora and fauna including genetically modified organisms.
- waste and other substances
- measures and activities such as policies and plans, agreements, reports, cost benefit analyses
- the state of human health and safety
- contamination of the food chain
- cultural sites and built structures as they may be affected by environmental factors.
In practice, this means that much of the information relating to Planning, Building Control, Health & Built Environment, Countryside Access and Waste management will be classed as environmental information.
EIR allow us to charge for making environmental information available, but any charge must be reasonable.
The following principles will apply:
- The Council will not charge for public registers, lists of environmental information or environmental datasets viewed at relevant Council offices. However, the Council will charge for locating and collating of information for viewing at relevant Council offices.
- Wherever possible, environmental information will be published online and links to such information will be provided at no charge.
- No charge will be made unless the charges have been published.
- The Council will charge for other requests under EIR that do not fall into the above categories.
- Any charges will be justifiable as reasonable and will not act as a deterrent to those wishing to access environmental information.
- Where appropriate, charges will include staff time (including overheads) for locating, retrieving and extracting information, but will not include staff time in maintaining databases of environmental information.
- There will be no charge for an internal review.
- There will be no charge when the request relates to ‘emissions’
- Photocopying and disbursements charges will be charged in accordance with the current rates in the Council’s fees and charges