You should search our Published information for environmental information we publish proactively or, alternatively, if you cannot find what you are looking for, you can request the information from us.
The Regulations apply only to the environmental information held by the Department.
The Regulations and the Freedom of Information Act do not give people access to their own personal data (information about themselves), such as their health records or credit reference files. Individuals have a right of access to information held about them under the Data Protection Act 1998.
Making a request
Unlike the Freedom of Information Act 2000 where requests can only be made in writing, under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, requests can be made verbally or in writing.
Sometimes we may need to contact you to clarify exactly what information you require.
It will help us process your request more quickly if you are specific about want you want and provide a telephone number on which we can contact you if necessary.
How long does it take to get information?
Similarly to the Freedom of Information Act the Department has a duty to inform you whether it holds the information and if so, to communicate the requested information to you as soon as possible, and no later than 20 working days after the date of receipt of your request.
Is there a cost for getting information?
Regulation 8(1) permits a public authority to charge for making environmental information available. However, Regulation 8(3) states any charge cannot “exceed an amount which the public authority is satisfied is a reasonable amount”. Regulation 8(3) does not provide any definition of the word “reasonable”.
For more information on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) and what it means for you, please visit the Information Commissioner’s website