The Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) 2004 gives the public a right of access to environmental information held by public authorities and some other organisations.
This right of access is similar to rights given by the Freedom of Information Act, but only covers information about the environment.
Under the EIR, environmental information broadly means information about the elements of the environment. The elements include land, soil, air, water, biological organisms etc. It also includes any activities which may affect these elements, and analysis and data.
The principle behind the EIR is that giving the public access to environmental information will encourage greater awareness of issues that affect the environment. Greater awareness helps increase public participation in decision-making, it makes public bodies more accountable and transparent and it builds public confidence and trust in them.
Follow the link to read more about the ICO's Guide to Environment Information Regulations.
How to make a request under the Environmental Information Regulations:
Alternatively you can write to the Data Protection Team to the address provided at the bottom of this page.
To speak to the Data Protection Team please call our switchboard on 0117 926 2061.
To enable us to deal with your request for information under the EIR, the request must be:
- submitted to AF&RS in writing by letter, email or via our online website page;
- provide a full contact name and return address (either postal or email address);
- clearly and legibly describe what information is required, providing any date ranges if applicable; and
- confirm details of the format you would like the information to be sent to you.
Please note that AF&RS will challenge any request that is deemed vexatious, such as use of abusive or aggressive language, frequent or overlapping requests on the same/similar subject, unfounded accusations and where an individual may be using a pseudonym (such as using a fake contact name).
When dealing with requests for information under the Environmental Information Regulations, AF&RS will:
- respond to all requests as fully as we are able;
- respond in writing (letter or email) to requests for information within 20 working days;
- contact you as soon as possible to clarify any part of your request if it is unclear;
- inform you in advance if your request will incur a charge;
- treat all requests for information equally;
- only provide information if it is already held by us (under the act we are not obliged to generate new information in order to satisfy a request);
- only provide information that is accurate/factual (and therefore are unable to respond to requests that are seeking an opinion);
- provide an explanation if we are unable to provide information and only withhold information when there is a good reason or when regulations (exemptions within the act) allow it; and
- advise you what steps you can take if you are unsatisfied with how we have handled your request.