The following Environment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
The Environmental Information Regulations 2004, SI 2004/3391 (EIR 2004) give rights of public access to environmental information held by public authorities.
The presumption in favour of disclosure of environmental information under EIR 2004 is subject to various exceptions. The majority of these exceptions are found in regulation 12 of EIR 2004.
For more on environmental information, see Practice Note: Environmental Information Regulations 2004—what is environmental information?
For further information on when a request for environmental information can be refused, see: Information Commissioner’s Office ‘When can we refuse a request for environmental information?’ and Q&A: Is there any case law or guidance, other than the cases of Fish v Legal and Attorney-General for the Prince of Wales v the IC, as well as guidance published by the ICO, that provides further guidance as to what constitutes ‘control’ in the definition of public authority in the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, s 2(2)(d)?
If a public authority deems that information falls within one or more of the regulation 12 exceptions, the public authority must then assess the public interest arguments as to whether the information should be disclosed.
If the public interest reasons to disclose the information outweigh the public interest reasons not to disclose the information, the public authority will be required to disclose that information, even though it falls within an exception.
There are two general classes of exceptions within
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