Environmental Information Regulations 2004—responding to a request
Produced in partnership with Patrick Senior of Stephenson Harwood
Environmental Information Regulations 2004—responding to a request

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

  • Environmental Information Regulations 2004—responding to a request
  • Brexit impact
  • The role of information teams in public authorities
  • What constitutes a request for information?
  • When should a request be handled informally?
  • What is the next step having received a request?
  • Requirement to respond
  • What form should the response take?
  • Handling difficult requests
  • Can the environmental information be withheld?
  • more

When responding to a request for information, the first step should be to determine whether the information requested is environmental information, and therefore whether the request falls within the remit of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR 2004), SI 2004/3391 or the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FIA 2000).

For clean guidance on this, see Practice Note: Environmental Information Regulations 2004—what is environmental information?

This Practice Note focuses on the next steps that a public authority should take on receiving a request for environmental information.

Brexit impact

This content is likely to be impacted by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. For information on how leaving the EU will affect environmental law, see Practice Note: Brexit—environmental law implications, which details the relevant aspects of the withdrawal process, as well as providing insights into developments affecting environmental protection, such as the draft Environmental Principles and Governance Bill.

The date and time of withdrawal of the EU (exit day) is specified in UK law (under section 20 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018), but until the legal terms of the withdrawal negotiated with the EU are finalised, there remains a possibility that the UK’s membership will lapse automatically on exit day, without all the necessary legal and transitional arrangements in place. This has implications for practitioners considering specific environmental law regimes. For information on