The right to access this information comes from
- Directive 2003/4/EC of the European Parliament, the European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 133 of 2007) and
- the European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 662 of 2011) as amended by the European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (S.I. No. 615 of 2014).
The AIE Regulations provide a definition of environmental information; outline the manner in which requests for information may be submitted to public authorities and the manner in which public authorities are required to deal with requests e.g. time frames for response. The regulations also provide for a formal appeals procedure in the event that a person is unhappy with a decision on their request.
Categories of Information you can Access
The Directive covers information held in written, visual, aural, electronic or any other material form. There are 6 categories of information within this Directive:
- 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 in as much as they may be affected by the elements of the environment
How to Request Environmental Information
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 and submit it in writing to:
Corporate Affairs & Governance
Meath County Council
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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.
We will reply to your request within 1 month of receiving your application.
As provided for in the AIE Regulations, there is no initial fee required when lodging a request for information under AIE to the Council. The Council may however, charge a reasonable fee for supplying environmental information in accordance with the Regulations. The charge will be on the same basis as those currently applied under the Freedom of Information Acts.
- Time charged to answer individual requests: €20.00 per hour
- Photocopying: €0.04 per A4 page
- Provision of information on CD: €10.00
If you are charged fees on your request and the charge is beyond your means, you can make a request to reduce or waive the fee. Documentary evidence of your means will be required, for example, evidence that you hold a current medical card or are in receipt of a social welfare benefit. All waiver requests are dealt with on a case by case basis.
Right of Appeal
If you are not satisfied with the response to your request, you may, not later than 1 month following receipt of the decision, request an internal review to a Higher Officer within Meath County Council. To request an internal review, write to us or email email@example.com. No fee will be charged for the internal review process.
If you are not satisfied with the response from the Higher Officer, you can then contact the Office of the Information Commissioner to submit an appeal. The cost of such an appeal is €50 or €15 for medical card holders or their dependents.