Environmental Information Regulations 2004
There have been Environmental Information Regulations (EIRs) in the UK since 1992 and they were updated in 2004. They are based on European legislation. The Regulations give a statutory right of access to environmental information held by public authorities, which includes the University of Bristol.
What is Environmental Information?
The definition of environmental information in the EIRs is very wide. It is any information on the state of the environment and includes any information relating to:
- air and atmosphere, water, soil, land, landscape and natural sites including wetlands, coastal and marine areas, biological diversity (including genetically modified organisms) and flora and fauna.
- energy, noise, radiation or waste, including radioactive waste, emissions, discharges and other releases into the environment
- measures and activities such as policies, legislation, plans, programmes, environmental agreements that may or do not affect the environment or are designed to protect the environment
- reports and cost benefits and other economics analysis and assumptions
- the state of human health and safety, including the contamination of the food chain
- cultural sites and built structures when they are or may be affected by environmental matters.
Freedom of Information (FOI) and Environmental Information Regulations (EIRs)
The Freedom of Information Act is domestic law, whereas the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 are based on a European Union Directive on public access to environmental information. Both FOI and EIRs came into effect on 1 January 2005.
There are both similarities between FOI and the EIRs and differences - for instance they share the same 20 working day deadline for replies to requests, but have slightly different lists of 'exemptions' (or 'exceptions').
Making a request
The easiest way to make a request for environmental information is to email email@example.com.
But you can also telephone 0117 331 7751
Or write to:
Information Rights Officer
University of Bristol
University Secretary's Office
Bristol BS8 1TH
Receiving a request
If you think you have received a request for environmental information over the phone, face to face, by email or by letter, please contact the Information Rights Officer on 0117 331 7751 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We can either provide advice on answering the request or we can answer on your behalf.