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Environmental Information Regulations 2004

The Environmental Information Regulations (EIRs) allow access to broad range of information subject to exceptions and came into force on 1 January 2005.

The regulations coincide with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to make more information available to the public. This page gives an introduction to using the regulations and their implications for councils.

Environmental Information

Environmental Information is classed under the regulations as:

  • The state of the elements of the environment (i.e. air, water, soil, land etc.) and the interaction between them
  • Factors such as substances, energy, noise radiation & waste that could affect the elements above (such as flooding, loss of habitat and noise)
  • Emissions, discharges and other releases into the atmosphere
  • The state of human health and safety, contamination of the food chain, conditions of life & cultural or building sites affected by the elements
  • Policies, legislation, plans, programmes and administrative measures that could affect the environment and their economic analysis of such

Making a request

Requests for environmental information can be made in writing (email, fax, letter) or verbally (in person or telephone). Before making a request it is advisable to check the guide to published information for information that is already available. Requests to Dorset Councils can be sent to the Freedom of Information Officers.

Published environmenal information

Purbeck District Council - Published Environmental Information (pdf, 228kb) (opens in a new window)

Charging for environmental information

EIR allows public authorities to charge for making environmental information available, but any charge must be reasonable.  Charges can include staff time to locate, retrieve and extract the information, plus any photocopying and postage costs.  However, charges for the cost of maintaining databases of environmental information cannot be included.  Individual local authorities may have different charges for environmental information:

Can I see all information held by the council?

No, as with the Freedom of Information Act, the EIRs include exceptions for information that can't be released. Find out more about exceptions to the EIRs (opens in a new window).

Appeal a decision

If you are unhappy with a decision made by the council concerning a request for information then you can apply for an internal review of the decision. If you remain dissatisfied then your appeal can be taken to the Information Commissioner (opens in a new window).

Contact the relevant council.

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