Environmental Information Regulations 2004—what is environmental information?
Produced in partnership with Patrick Senior of Stephenson Harwood
Environmental Information Regulations 2004—what is environmental information?

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—what is environmental information?
  • Brexit impact
  • Regulatory definition of environmental information
  • What is meant by 'environment'?
  • Elements of the environment—regulation 2(1)(a)
  • Factors affecting, or likely to affect the elements of the environment—regulation 2(1)(b)
  • Measures and activities—regulation 2(1)(c)
  • Reports on environmental legislation—regulation 2(1)(d)
  • Cost-benefit and economic analyses—regulation 2(1)(e)
  • Human, health and safety, conditions of human life, cultural sites and built structure—regulation 2(1)(f)
  • More...

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:

  1. financial viability assessments

  2. road tolling information, and

  3. information regarding a public authority's decision to dispose of land

Brexit impact

11 pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 marks the end of the Brexit transition/implementation period entered into following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. At this point in time (referred to in UK law as ‘IP completion day’), key transitional arrangements come to an end and significant changes begin to take effect across the UK’s legal regime. Any changes relevant to this content will be set out below. For further guidance, see Practice Note: Brexit—impact on environmental law and News Analysis: Brexit Bulletin—key updates, research tips and resources.

Regulatory definition of environmental information

Environmental information is defined in regulation 2(1)(a)-(f) of the EIR 2004 as having the same meaning as set out in the

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