The following Environment practice note Produced in partnership with Patrick Senior of Stephenson Harwood provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Understanding what environmental information includes is fundamental to environmental regulation because it will determine whether a request for information will be considered under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI 2000) or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, SI 2004/3391 (EIR 2004). If information requested falls within the definition of environmental information, then that request must be considered under the EIR 2004.
This Practice Note examines the statutory definition of environmental information, and provides examples from published guidance and case law of when information has been held to be environmental information—covering such contentious areas as:
financial viability assessments
road tolling information, and
information regarding a public authority's decision to dispose of land
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.
Environmental information is defined in regulation 2(1)(a)-(f) of the EIR 2004 as having the same meaning as set out in the Access to Environmental Information Directive 2003/4/EC.
For more information, see Practice Notes: Access to environmental information Directive 2003/4/EC—snapshot and Aarhus convention—access to justice.
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