European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007 - 2014
Under European and Irish law you are entitled to request access to certain information on the environment that is held by Fingal County Council, which is not readily available through other means.
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Acts operate alongside the AIE Regulations so that people can gain access to environmental information under both the FOI Acts and the AIE Regulations.
If you wish to access personal information held by the Council under the Data Protection legislation, please refer to Data Protection.
Categories of Information you can access
The AIE legislation covers information held in written, visual, aural, electronic or any other material form under 6 different categories:
- 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 should I request information under the AIE Regulations?
To request information you must:
- Submit your request in writing or by email and clearly state that it is being made under the AIE Regulations
- Provide your contact details
- Explain as clearly as possible the environmental information you need
- Specify in your request if you require the information in a particular format
Can we refuse access to that information?
In some cases we must refuse access to the information sought if:
- The information is personal
- The information has been supplied by a third party voluntarily
- The disclosure of information would make it more likely that the environment would be damaged
- The confidentiality of the Council could be breached
Under the AIE Regulations we may refuse access to information for reasons of:
- International relations, national defence or public security
- The course of justice
- Commercial or industrial confidentiality
- Intellectual property rights
- Material in the course of completion
- Internal communications with other public authorities
- The request being considered to be unreasonable due to the volume or range of information sought or the request being too general
Our response and your right of appeal
The Council must reply to your request for information under AIE Regulations within one month of receiving your application.
If you are not happy with our response or if we don’t reply within one month, you can request an internal review of your application within one month of receiving the original decision letter. We must then respond to your appeal within one month of receiving it and the review will be undertaken by an officer of the Council who was not involved in the original decision
All applications under AIE Regulations and any subsequent appeals must be made in writing or by email to:
Brendan Fleming - Freedom of Information Officer
Corporate Affairs & Governance Department, Fingal County Council, Main Street, Swords, Co. Dublin
Telephone: 01 890 5162
Appealing to the Commissioner for Environmental Information
If you are unhappy with the internal review, or the Council does not reply to your request for a review of their decision, you can ask for an independent review of the decision from the Commissioner for Environmental Information. Third parties affected by the Council’s decision may also appeal to the Commissioner. Written appeals to the Commissioner must be sent within one month of the internal review decision, along with the relevant fee, to:
Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Information
18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2
There is no fee for making an application under the AIE Regulations. We cannot charge for access to registers or lists of environmental information or to allow you to look at the records at our offices. However, the Council can charge a reasonable fee to cover costs of compiling, copying, printing or posting requested information as follows:
- We charge €0.40 per sheet for information provided on paper.
- We charge €10.16 to provide information on CD
- There is no charge for applying for an internal review.
- The Commissioner for Environmental Information charges €50 for an appeal
- A reduced fee of €15 is charged by the Commissioner for Environmental Information to medical card holders and their dependents and to third parties who did not make the original request but who are appealing the decision to release information as they believe it affects them.
We received a total of 14 AIE Requests in 2016 - 6 were granted, 3 were part-granted and 5 were refused.