Access to Information on the Environment (AIE)

European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007 to 2014 (hereafter referred to as the AIE Regulations), gives legal rights to those seeking access to information on the environment from public authorities.  These Regulations give effect in Ireland to Directive 2003/4/EC, which was adopted to give effect to the Access to Information pillar of the Aarhus Convention.

Under these regulations, information relating to the environment held by, or for, a public authority must be made available on request, subject to certain exceptions.  The AIE regulations also oblige public authorities to be proactive in disseminating environmental information to the public. 

Categories of Information that may be accessed

  • 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 inasmuch as they may be affected by the elements of the environment.

Information Point

This website is an information point for the purpose of the AIE Directive.  If you require further environmental information than that which is provided on the website, you may submit an AIE request.

How to make an application for information under AIE Regulations

When making a request for information under the AIE Regulations, you are required to state that the application is being made under the AIE Regulations and submit it in writing to:

Access to Information on the Environment Officer,
Sligo County Council,
County Hall,
Riverside,
Sligo

or by electronic form by emailing aie_requests@sligococo.ie ensuring ‘AIE Request’ is contained in the subject line.

The request should:  

  • provide your contact details;
  • state that the application is being made under the AIE Regulations
  • state, in terms that are as specific as possible, the environmental information required, and specify the form and manner of access required

It is not necessary to state an interest in the request.

Fees

There is no initial fee for making an application under the AIE Regulations.  However, a public authority may charge a reasonable amount for supplying the information requested.   This may include the costs of compiling, copying, printing or posting of information, and are as follows:  

  • €0.04 per sheet for photocopying
  • €10 for the provision of information on CD-ROM
  • €20 per hour for the search and retrieval of records

Details of charges, if any, will be advised in the final decision letter.

There is no charge for applying for an internal review. 

Requirements for dealing with requests

In general, Sligo County Council is required to respond to an AIE request within one month of receipt of the request.   

Appealing a decision

Under Article 11 of the AIE Regulations, you have a right to seek an internal review of the initial decision. 

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the internal review, you can appeal to the Commissioner for Environmental Information (CEI).  You must appeal within one month of receiving the decision on the internal review from the public authority.  However, the Commissioner may extend this time limit in individual cases.

It costs €50 to take an appeal to the Commissioner for Environmental Information, or €15 if you are the holder, or dependent of a holder of a medical card, or a third party appealing the decision to release certain information. 

A written appeal should be submitted to the Appeals Officer at the following address

Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Information,
18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2, D02 HE97

Phone: +353-1-639 5689               Lo-call: 1890 253 238
Email: info@ocei.ie 

Related Information

Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Information - http://www.ocei.gov.ie/
Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government - Access to Information on the Environment - http://www.housing.gov.ie/environment/access-information-environment/access-information-environment
S.I. No. 133/2007 - European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007 - http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2007/si/133
S.I. No. 662/2011 - European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 - http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2011/si/662/
S.I. No. 352/2014 - European Union (Access to Review of Decisions for Certain Bodies or Organisations promoting Environmental Protection) Regulations 2014 - http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2014/si/352
S.I. No. 615/2014 - European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 - http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2014/si/615