Environmental Information Regulations 2004
The Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) is a UK Statutory Instrument (SI 2004 No. 3391) that provides a right of access to environmental information held by UK public authorities. The regulations came into force on 1st January 2005 .
The regulations extend to non-governmental bodies such as water companies.
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.<ref>Guide to the Environmental Information Regulations from Direct.gov</ref>.
It is accepted by the UK Government that most maps will contain environmental information.
The coverage of the Environmental Information Regulations is greater than that of the Freedom of Information Act 2000<ref>Guidance on the EIR from Defra</ref>, although there are bodies such as the BBC which are covered by the Freedom of Information Act but not by the EIR. The Freedom of Information Act sets out a list of the bodies and classes of bodies that are public authorities, the EIR is less prescriptive.
MI5 acknowledge that they are covered by the EIR and have published Environmental Information on their website<ref>http://www.mi5.gov.uk/output/Page227.html</ref>.