Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004
The Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations (EIR) is a Scottish Statutory Instrument SI 2004/520 that provides a right of access to environmental information held by public authorities in Scotland. The regulations came into force on 1st January 2005. See also Environmental Information Regulations 2004 which apply in England, Wales & Northern Ireland.
Definition of 'Environmental Information'
Environmental information includes information about air, water, soil, land, flora and fauna, energy, noise, waste and emissions. Environmental Information also includes information about decisions, policies and activities that affect the environment.
The coverage of the Environmental Information Regulations will include all those covered by the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. Other bodies may be covered by the EIRs, including:
- any other Scottish public authority with mixed functions or no reserved functions (within the meaning of the Scotland Act 1998); and
- any other person who is neither a public body nor the holder of a public office and who is under the control of a person or body which is either covered by FOISA or which is a Scottish public authority with mixed or no reserved functions and:
- (i) has public responsibilities relating to the environment;
- (ii) exercises functions of a public nature relating to the environment; or
- (iii) provides public services relating to the environment.
- Regulation 10(4)(a) - Information not held
- Regulation 10(4)(b) - "manifestly unreasonable"
- Regulation 10(4)(c) - request too generally formulated
- Regulation 10(4)(d) - material which is still in the course of completion, unfinished documents or incomplete data
- Regulation 10(4)(e) - internal communications
- Regulation 10(5)(a) - international relations, defence, national security or public safety;
- Regulation 10(5)(b) - the course of justice
- Regulation 10(5)(c) - intellectual property rights
- Regulation 10(5)(d) - the confidentiality of the proceedings of any public authority where such confidentiality is provided by law
- Regulation 10(5)(e) - confidentiality of commercial or industrial information
- Regulation 10(5)(f) - interests of the individual providing the information
- Regulation 10(5)(g) - protection of the environment
- Regulation 11 - personal data
There are additional regulations that make it harder to prevent information from being released:
- Emissions - if the information relates to emissions ("direct or indirect release of substances, vibrations, heat or noise from individual or diffuse sources [...] into the air, water or land" (2003/4/EC), then Regulations 10(5)(d), (e), (f) & (g) don't apply.
- Any prohibitions on disclosures present in any other laws - EIRS reg 5(3) says: "Any enactment or rule of law which would prevent the making available of information in accordance with these Regulations shall not apply".
- To link to this legislation, try
- Short title: Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004
- Legislation ID: ssi/2004/520