Environmental Information Regulations 2004—issues for businesses
Produced in partnership with Patrick Senior of Stephenson Harwood
Environmental Information Regulations 2004—issues for businesses

The following Environment practice note Produced in partnership with Patrick Senior of Stephenson Harwood provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Environmental Information Regulations 2004—issues for businesses
  • Brexit impact
  • When is a business considered to be a public authority?
  • Businesses that interact with public authorities
  • Public authority's duty to disclose information
  • Information commonly provided through business interactions with public authorities
  • Protection from disclosure
  • Exception 12(5)(c)—intellectual property rights
  • Exception 12(5)(e)—confidentiality
  • How can businesses use the EIR 2004 to their advantage?

The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR 2004), SI 2004/3391 poses a risk to businesses through exposure of sensitive commercial information. However, the EIR 2004 can also be used to provide business with access to commercially valuable information.

A business is most at risk in two main instances: (1) when a private business is deemed a public authority; or (2) when a private business interacts with a public authority.

This Practice Note outlines methods that businesses may use to protect against unwanted disclosure of information, and how businesses may use the EIR 2004 to their advantage.

For more on EIR 2004, see Practice Notes:

  1. Environmental Information Regulations 2004—what is environmental information?

  2. Environmental Information Regulations 2004—request for environmental information

  3. Environmental Information Regulations 2004—responding to a request

  4. Environmental Information Regulations 2004—clarifying requests

  5. Environmental Information Regulations 2004—exceptions

  6. Differences between Environmental Information Regulations and Freedom of Information Act

  7. Environmental Information Regulations 2004—appeals and enforcement

Brexit impact

As of exit day (31 January 2020) the UK is no longer an EU Member State. However, in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK has entered an implementation period, during which it continues to be subject to EU law. This has an impact on this content.

For further guidance, see Practice Note: Brexit—impact on environmental law and News Analysis: Brexit Bulletin—key updates, research tips and resources.

When is a business considered to be a public authority?

It is possible that

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