What is Access to information on the environment?


The access to information on the environment (AIE) regulations give citizens the right to access environmental information held by, or for, the EPA and other public authorities. A decision on your request must normally be made as soon as possible but at the latest one month from the date of receipt of the request.

 

What can I ask for?


You can ask for environmental information held by, or for, the EPA. Environmental information is defined in the AIE regulations and determines what is available under the AIE regulations.

The environmental information you require may already be available on the EPA's website or at EPA Offices, as described in Public Access to Licensing Files or Public Access to Enforcement Information, If so, you will not have to use the AIE mechanism.

The EPA also publishes environmental information on its Freedom of Information Publication Scheme.


What is the definition of environmental information?


The AIE Regulations provide a definition of environmental information and outline the manner in which requests for information should be made to the EPA. environmental information can be held in any material form including electronic, written, visual or aural.


Information not available under the AIE regulations?


The AIE regulations do not apply to environmental information that is required to be made available under any other statutory provision.

Information that does not come within the scope of the definition of environmental information, and which is not already publicly available, as outlined above, may be requested under the Freedom of Information Act 2014


How do I make an AIE request?


Email the AIE officer at AIE@epa.ie or write to the AIE Officer, EPA Headquarters, PO Box 3000, Johnstown Castle Estate, Co Wexford. 

In your correspondence you should:

  • State that your request is being made under the AIE Regulations,
  • Give your name, address and any other relevant contact details,
  • Being as specific as possible, tell us what environmental information you require and in what preferred format.


Decision on a request


A decision on your request may be to grant, part grant or refuse the information requested and will issue as soon as possible but no later than one month from the date of receipt of your request. There is provision in the regulations to extend this one month period under certain circumstances.

The regulations set out mandatory and discretionary grounds for refusal of information. In either case we must specify in writing the reasons for refusal.

Where the information is held by a public authority other than the EPA we will either refer your request directly to the appropriate public authority or advise you of the appropriate public authority to whom your request should be directed.


If I'm denied access to information, can I appeal against the decision?


Yes. You can ask the EPA for an internal review by a more senior officer. Your request should be made within one month of receipt of notification of the decision. The internal reviewer will inform you of the result of the review within one month.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the internal review, you can ask the Commissioner for Environmental Information to review the matter. Your request for appeal must be made within one month of the decision date.


Do I have to pay?


No fee is charged for the making of a request under the AIE Regulations. No fee is charged for the internal review process. The regulations do allow a public authority to charge a reasonable fee for the cost of supplying the environmental information.

The EPA has set the following charges:

  • search, retrieval and copying of records: €20 per hour
  • photocopy: €0.04 per sheet

Please note that the fee may be waived where the cost is estimated at less than €100.

We may also disregard charges if the record contains only personal information and if, having regard to the means of the requester, it would not be reasonable to apply one.


Assistance in making requests


A guide to the functions of, and records held by, the EPA are available in our Freedom of Information Publication Scheme.

If you have any queries the AIE Officer may be contacted by telephone at +353 (0)53 9160600 or by email at AIE@epa.ie 


Learn more


View the AIE Legislation

View AIE Statistics for the EPA and other public bodies

Read more about how to access information under the Freedom of Information Act