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Access to Environmental Information

The law gives individuals a right to access certain information about the environment.

Access to Environmental Information

accessing environmental information video

A short public service video by Rosie Oliver on how to access environmental information.


The law defines environmental information as information relating to the state of the environment, including elements of the environment such as air, water, soil and landscape. This also includes information on anything released into the environment (noise, energy or waste as well as substances), information on legislation, policies and plans relating to the environment and analysis of their likely effects, and information on human health and safety, including food safety where it is affected by the environment.

This section gives details of what information you can ask for, how to go about requesting it, and your rights to appeal.

There's also information about the new INSPIRE Directive which requires authorities to make geographical data publicly available.

Legislation

International

Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus) 1998

European Union

Directive 2003/4/EC on Public Access to Environmental Information

Directive 2007/2/EC establishing an Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community (INSPIRE)

National

Environmental Information Regulations 2004

Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004

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